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