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 Dorkyman on 7/14/2010 1:36:08 PM , Rating: 5
"We need to get off oil at all costs."

Really? At all costs?

Yes, it's true that our demand for oil is transferring money to countries that have values very different from our own. The solution is obvious to anyone not blinded by their own prejudices:

(a) Drill here. Eliminate the artificial roadblocks to oil extraction. Oil shale, tar sands from Canada, ANWAR, lots of opportunities.

(b) Go all-out on nukes. It is an embarrassment that we get only ~20% of our electricity from nukes while France (FRANCE!) gets 90%.

I completely agree that by refusing to do the obvious we are really putting ourselves in a very dangerous position with regards to the Middle East and the threat of a future war. But, you know, Messiah in the White House is not exactly a practical man. He wants his windmills and knows better than you and I that electric cars are the answer. I do thank him, though, for shaking the American public back to their senses. Looking forward to an amazing November election cycle.

As for air pollution: as someone who lived in LA decades ago, I can vouch that things are amazingly better now. Nothing's ever perfect, but we've made remarkable progress.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By retrospooty on 7/14/2010 2:41:36 PM , Rating: 4
"(a) Drill here. Eliminate the artificial roadblocks to oil extraction. Oil shale, tar sands from Canada, ANWAR, lots of opportunities."

Yes, a good idea to get us by for a while while other entergy sources get researched, prefected, and cheeapened, but it wont last forever.

"(b) Go all-out on nukes. It is an embarrassment that we get only ~20% of our electricity from nukes while France (FRANCE!) gets 90%."

Yes, nuclear= not oil, so I totally agree.

We are totally in agreement.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By AEvangel on 7/14/2010 5:29:46 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, a good idea to get us by for a while while other entergy sources get researched, prefected, and cheeapened, but it wont last forever.

Actually there is really no SOLID proof that oil wont last forever. People need to realize that oil is not created by decomposing dinosaurs and quite a few oil reserves that were depleted 20 years ago are now found to be refilling themselves.

What we need to do is develop greener methods of oil recovery and exploration.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By fleabag on 7/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: that's some loafty goal
By Reclaimer77 on 7/14/2010 6:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
He's referring to the Deep Hot Biosphere theory by Thomas Gold. Which states that oil is actually produced deep in the mantle by the Earth and then rises, where it is then attacked by bacteria and other organisms. So that when tested, it appears organic in nature.

I think it's a very interesting theory personally. And before you dismiss it offhand I should tell you Thomas Gold also theorized neutron stars and was ridiculed before the theory was eventually accepted and backed up. Gold is one of the best minds out there today.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By Paj on 7/15/2010 5:39:13 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty shaky foundation to base energy planning on though. 'Theres no problem, the oil will replenish itself!' Its like something the crazy Texan oil magnate from the Simpsons would say.

And Thomas Gold died in 04 (RIP).

RE: that's some loafty goal
By Reclaimer77 on 7/15/2010 10:28:32 AM , Rating: 3
Pretty shaky foundation to base energy planning on though. 'Theres no problem, the oil will replenish itself!

As apposed to the brilliant energy planning we have currently. Which is... no plan. Unless you refer to the magical pixie dust that is "alternative" energy.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By monkeyman1140 on 7/16/2010 12:00:28 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is not oil availability, its oil itself.

Earth is full of life because a considerable amount of carbon is locked deep inside the earth. When you dig it up and burn it, it goes into the active ecosystem permanently and changes everything, the weather, the seas, the land...and not in a good way.

Right now the oceans are cleaning up our mess, so we don't really notice the effects, but there's a "tipping" point where oceans will no longer be able to absorb all the carbon, and it will be quite sudden, and probably the death of the planet, or at least the death of humanity. Once we all are dead, earth will recover nicely. Of course thats not a fairy tale ending for us.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By quiksilvr on 7/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: that's some loafty goal
By moenkopi on 7/14/2010 4:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
Nuclear has a future in thorium fuel cycle technology! The US has the second largest reserves of thorium fuel which will be able to sustain us for 200 years. By that time, maybe we really will have fusion or we'll have control over the suns energy.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By FITCamaro on 7/15/2010 12:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Obama is pushing for government loan guarantees. He is doing absolutely nothing to actually make it easier to build a nuclear power plant. You still have the massive red tape. You still have the environmentalists who can sue without end.

Obama knows this. I don't think he cares. He wants to look like he supports nuclear knowing that its highly unlikely plants will make it to completion because of the road blocks. Loan guarantees don't mean the plants get built. Even if they get built it doesn't mean they become operational.

The only reason nuclear plants aren't being built is because of the red tape and potential endless lawsuits. Enivironmental groups should not be able to sue on the behalf of the people. If people want to sue, they can do it on their own.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By The0ne on 7/14/2010 4:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
LA is better in the sense that it doesn't appear to be getting any worse. It's NOT better because we are reducing any pollution. It takes a long time to "clean" what was already done, smog for example. Comparing LA to San Diego is almost like night a day because of that brown cloud. I hack and cough going up there all the time.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By priusone on 7/15/2010 4:12:59 AM , Rating: 2
Palm Springs does have some beautiful sunsets thanks to all the air that blows in from LA.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By LordSojar on 7/15/2010 1:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
I do thank him, though, for shaking the American public back to their senses. Looking forward to an amazing November election cycle.

You know what I'm looking forward to? In 30 years, when we still haven't moved off oil, and it runs dry. Watch, as societies collapse, governments fall, and chaos envelops us. Oil makes the world go round, and when the tit runs dry, so does the order it brings.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. See where being a Democrat or Republican or Libertarian gets you then; you'll just be another povertized fool. Human beings are foolish creatures indeed... more concerned with a penny today than the progress of society as a whole.

You can tag me as a person with my head in the clouds, a flaming liberal, it's all irrelevant tripe. Politicians in the US are all backwards, inbred fools who wouldn't know progress if it was a train hitting them. Politicians are pawns for lobbyists in this country, who control everything. You are money, another plus on the balance sheet. Unfortunately, when the wells run dry, so too shall your pathetic existence, the same as the rest of us.

I recently took a trip up to northern Indiana, and saw a huge wind farm. It was actually beautiful... not just on the material level, but to see some parts of society progressing beyond technology principles that are 200 years old. Wind isn't the final answer, that role falls to fusion. However, it's a start; a good, clean start.

Really? At all costs?

What cost do you put on life? I don't put a price tag on the human spirit; the spirit of innovation. We are a wonderful race when we get our minds out of that shallow gutter that is greed. Learn to care for humanity as a whole, and where we are going, not where we are. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do know this; only through technological progress can we ever hope to see our society achieve greatness.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By hashish2020 on 7/15/2010 1:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, it's not like Obama is pushing nuclear at all, right?

And I dunno, personally, I kinda like Obama's first energy secretary being a Nobel Prize winning physicist, while our last president's brilliant first choice was

RE: that's some loafty goal
By Reclaimer77 on 7/15/2010 2:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
lol Please! Do you really want to go there? Obama's appointees are the biggest bunch of unqualified wacko radicals I've ever seen. I especially liked his choice for finance being a proven tax evader. Nice touch.

RE: that's some loafty goal
By monkeyman1140 on 7/16/2010 12:04:33 AM , Rating: 1
As compared to Bush appointees, like Lyn Nofziger and Eliot Abrams, both former felons who spent time in Federal Prison for various crimes committed under the Reagan Administration?
Or perhaps Bush's wonderful appointing of that moron Donald Rumsfeld, who destroyed our military and munged up our 2 wars on Iraq and Afghanistan so badly that we're still fighting them?

or maybe Bush's secretary of the treasury, who is a member of goldman sachs and created TARP which cost the taxpayer 1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS.

And you want to put these clowns back in power?

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