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 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.

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