Michigan Firms Awarded $966 Million to Jump-Start U.S. Battery Manufacturing

Aug 5, 2009 Issues: Energy

(Washington D.C.)- The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $2.4 billion in Recovery Act funding to support advanced batteries and electric vehicles manufacturing and development today.  These funds include $1.5 billion for advanced battery manufacturing.  The battery awards come about as a result of $2 billion that was included for advanced batteries in the economic recovery bill approved by Congress earlier this year and were a top priority of the Michigan congressional delegation. 

The lion’s share of the battery funding awarded by DOE today will go to develop cell and battery pack manufacturing facilities.  The goal of these grants is to kick-start U.S. advanced battery production and close the gap with battery manufacturing in other nations, like Japan, China, and South Korea. 

Michigan companies were awarded the most advanced battery funding of any state, receiving $966 million of the $1.5 billion available.  General Motors and Ford were also awarded $167 million to produce electric drive components. 

“Today we are taking a major step in the transformation of U.S. manufacturing,” said Rep. Levin, who helped lead the fight in the House of Representatives to include battery funding in the economic recovery bill.  “Advanced battery manufacturing has been a critical gap in America’s industrial base, and one that we are determined to close.  With today’s announcement, it is clear that the road to advanced batteries runs through Michigan.”

“Without this kind of public-private partnership, we would abandon the field to battery manufacturers in other nations.  As the domestic auto industry moves forward with producing electric vehicles to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, it is unacceptable to trade our dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on foreign batteries.  We need these advanced batteries to be developed and built here.”