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.  

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RE: that's some loafty goal
By bignickmetro on 7/14/2010 1:30:56 PM , Rating: -1
Since when was it the job of the President to "reinvent" industries? And who decides which ones get reinvented? Obama and a Car Czar? That's not how things are supposed to work here Jason.

thats exactly how it is supposed to work here. The president can invent or reinvent whatever the hell Congress will support. SPACE, guys. That was the invention of an industry where there was none. Lofty goals is how we got to the moon in 10 years without microprocessors.

Why hasn't the president said something like, "WE WILL have an unlimited, clean, alternative energy source in 10 years" and commit as much funding and manpower as it takes. Just like with NASA, bring in all the best physicists from around the world and have them just do it already. We have done many "impossible" things.

energy is by far the most urgent problem facing humanity. with energy comes the ability to eliminate hunger, poverty, etc. only reason we havent given it an HONEST effort is oil coal and gas companies. The idea that we are digging shit out of the ground, BURNING IT, and recovering a small amount of the energy contained is absolutely ridiculous. the only thing petroleum should be used for is plastics.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By clovell on 7/14/2010 1:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
Space travel was an invention. This is a direct intervention. My issue is that the industry is developing fine on its own - has been for ~ a decade. Now they need billions of dollars? If this was part of something bigger, maybe I could get on board, but right now it seems like Obama is giving handouts to people he likes.

And let's be clear - forcing the hand of the economy in a sustainable manner is IMPOSSIBLE. We learned tat after the dot-com bust, and we got taken back to school with the housing debacle, after congress and the president thought it'd be a great idea to make home-ownership easy enough for everyone.

Everything else, we, as a country are fully capable of - including self-deception.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By monkeyman1140 on 7/16/10, Rating: 0
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