Print 108 comment(s) - last by monkeyman1140.. on Jul 16 at 12:15 AM

GE WattStation  (Source: GE)

Ford announced that Compact Power would be producing the batteries for its electric Ford Focus.  (Source: Ford via Autoblog)

Obama was visiting Michigan today, promoting his plans to develop $10,000 EVs by 2015.  (Source: Detroit News)
President and his staff hit the road to promote the over $2.4B USD in federal money they're offering auto companies

U.S. President Barack Obama certainly isn't setting modest goals when it comes to electric vehicles.  The President is taking a gamble, pouring over $2.4B USD into the budding industry.  A 100-mile range battery EV today costs around $33,000 USD to make, but Obama hopes to drop that cost to $16,000 by 2013 and $10,000 by 2015.

President Obama was visiting Michigan this week to check in on many pending battery projects that are receiving a piece of that $2.4B USD pie.

Among the events he attended was the groundbreaking ceremony in Holland, Michigan of a Compact Power Inc. plant that will be used to provide batteries for the Chevy Volt.  Compact Power, owned by South Korea's LG, announced news more big news at the ceremony -- Ford picked it to produce batteries for the plug-in Ford Focus.  

The plant will cost $303M USD to build, but the government will be chipping in $151M USD.  The plant is expected to employ 450 workers by 2013 according to the Obama administration.  The jobs are expected to pay $14, providing a decent standard of living to workers.

Obama also checked out Johnson Controls-Saft's new $220M lithium-ion battery plant, also in Holland, Michigan.  That plant may prove to be a key competitor to Compact Power in the near future, and is also receiving federal stimulus funding.

On Friday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu will visit Delphi Automotive in Kokomo, Indiana.  Delphi is one of the auto industry's top suppliers.  The U.S. government is offering it $89M USD in grants to develop new components for electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Ed Montgomery, executive director of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers, will be visiting General Motor's new plant in in White Marsh, Maryland.  While GM will buy battery cells from suppliers like Compact Power, it will assemble its own battery packs and supporting systems in house at this new plant.  GM is receiving $241M USD in federal funding for its EV efforts in total, including $106M USD towards this new plant.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Celgard will be receiving a visit from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.  Celgard will receive $49M USD in stimulus money, which will allow it hire 100 employees, open a plant, and reach production.

While grants to promote the actual manufacturing of electric vehicles and their battery systems are one key aspect of Obama's efforts, another major component is the creation of electrical vehicle charging stations.  By spreading EV chargers out like gas stations, the range of EVs can effectively be extended.

Companies like Coulomb Technologies will be deploying the stations across the country later this year and next year.  New York-based Coulomb is receiving a $15M USD stimulus grant to spread 4,600 such stations in nine cities by September 2011.  That's a big chunk of the 20,000 station Obama hopes to deploy by 2012 (there are currently 500 such stations in the U.S.).

The goals are lofty -- Obama is shooting for over 20,000 electric vehicle stations, 1 million EVs on the road, and bargain EV prices of $10,000 per vehicle by 2015.  In short, he's trying to completely reinvent the American auto industry, much of which essentially collapsed during the recent recession.  

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By fishman on 7/14/2010 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but the electric power grid in this country is in poor shape, and has barely enough capacity on certain days. Add to that hundreds and thousands of EVs, and you have a recipe for disaster.

RE: Grid
By fleabag on 7/14/2010 1:40:38 PM , Rating: 3
This administration was a disaster from the very beginning. The 2008 election was a sham, falsely leading people to believe they had the opportunity to make the "right choice" when in fact there was no right choice, because they were both bad choices. I mean the fact that the last 3 presidents (Obama, Bush and Clinton) are all supporting a secret treaty to jail its citizens for things that are currently not a crime (and shouldn't be) says that we've never really had the choice of a good candidate in a LONG time. I mean I don't want to give H.W.B any credit but at least I'm not reading reports of him supporting the ACTA Treaty.

RE: Grid
By The0ne on 7/14/2010 5:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
That's usually how it is. There is no good choice but you vote for the one that you think is the lesser evil. The CA elections were the same. I opted to just sit out this time because I just didn't see a lesser evil.

When you think about this situation, this whole voting process becomes a joke.

RE: Grid
By monkeyman1140 on 7/15/2010 11:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
Actually a 2007 study found out the grid is just fine, and while it does need dramatic improvements anyway, it can handle EV's.

There was a bigger problem facing the grid with the millions of plasma and huge LCD TV's sold in the USA, and there are no outages.

Lastly, don't forget the rolling blackouts in California were caused by Enron, not a power shortage. They admitted cutting power to raise the scarcity and thus the price of energy to keep the company afloat since it was essentially bankrupt.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki