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 quiksilvr on 7/14/2010 4:02:24 PM , Rating: 0
I agree that we need to implement nuclear power in the US, but it's not fair to compare us to a country with 1/5 the population as ours. Not to mention France is 260,000 square miles of land and we are 3,800,000 square miles of land (thats over 10x the area :O).

The main hurdles to jump with nuclear energy is:
1) Public view on nuclear power.
2) Ensuring nuclear waste is stored properly.

The problem with nuclear and oil is that it is based on limited resources. Sure we can run on oil and nuclear for the next couple of decades (perhaps a decade or so more with nuclear), but nuclear cannot replace coal fully. Unless North Korea is telling the truth and they found a way for economically viable nuclear fusion energy, we simply do not have enough nuclear material to power the country fully.

Obama is pushing for nuclear energy. But he is also pushing for wind, solar and geothermal. Nuclear is just a tougher form of energy to pass. I don't see why your second to last paragraph is in there. If you honestly think Obama brought the US back to our senses, I don't think you were here during Bush's second term and there's no point debating that here.

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.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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