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Joe Biden is in Michigan today, reportedly to announce the first round of $2B in battery grants.  (Source: The Weekly Standard)
Grants bring good news to state's troubled economy

Michigan is among the states that has been hit hardest by the recession.  The government went to extreme measures to keep the state's economy from collapsing, including assuming majority ownership of GM and propping up Chrysler through bankruptcy.  Now the federal government is preparing to reach deeper into its pockets to help the state out even more.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Michigan today at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit.  He is reportedly going to announce the first round of $2B USD in Department of Energy battery grants.  The grants should boost the state's economy and help develop better electric vehicles, currently favored as the future of the car industry by the domestic automakers.

The federal government is also separately loaning money to battery manufacturers under the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVM).  Among the battery manufacturers that applied for that loan are A123 Systems, EnerDel, and Compact Power.  Thus far Ford, Nissan, and Tesla Motors received ATVM loans.  It is unknown who the grants will go to, but A123 Systems, EnerDel, and Compact Power seem like leading candidates.

Ed DeSeve, the president's special advisor on the stimulus program, had stated about on July 21, "I think you'll see over the next week or so ... some industrialization focus, for example, on the battery grants that are coming.  It makes sense to put those in places where there is productive working capacity -- people who can do the jobs. There are plants where the jobs can exist, and I think you are going to start to see more and more of that over time."

The ATVM loans must be repaid eventually by automakers and battery makers.  However, the DoE grants do not have to be repaid.  Michigan has also offered battery makers some big tax cuts in hopes of luring business into the state.

A limited amount of tickets to Mr. Biden's appearance have been offered to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Or is it favored by the admimistration?
By Jonh68 on 8/5/2009 1:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
currently favored as the future of the car industry by the domestic automakers.

From what I have read, automakers would like to research hydrogen and other fuels but the administration cut funding for hydrogen research. I doubt battery technology is regarded as the future unless we come up with better ways of making electricity.

By MrPeabody on 8/5/2009 1:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Government entities are not the sole providers of research funding. Why haven't these automakers been able to secure funding from other sources?

RE: Or is it favored by the admimistration?
By Mr772 on 8/5/2009 2:53:53 PM , Rating: 1
Car makers can research whatever they want.

But if GM or Chrysler are interested in it then its sure to be a waste of effort and money. Their CEO's and management are totally useless.

By FITCamaro on 8/5/2009 5:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
Wow you have a great attitude. I'm less than happy with GM and Chrysler at the moment but that kind of attitude is just ignorant and completely unfounded.

While I might not want to buy a car from Obama Motors, I respect executives like Bob Lutz who truly love cars.

By walk2k on 8/5/2009 10:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Batteries are heavy, have short range, and take forever to recharge.

The FCX Clarity has a 380 mile range and takes 2 minutes to refill. And we'll never run out because hydrogen is THE MOST ABUNDANT ELEMENT IN THE UNIVERSE!

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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