Nothing better for politicians than jetting around and passing out taxpayers' money.
President Obama today announced 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Administration said that the projects were selected through a “highly competitive process by the Department of Energy,” and they will accelerate the development of U.S. manufacturing capacity for batteries and electric drive components as well as the deployment of electric drive vehicles.
“If we want to reduce our dependence on oil, put Americans back to work and reassert our manufacturing sector as one of the greatest in the world, we must produce the advanced, efficient vehicles of the future,” said President Obama.
“For our nation and our economy to recover, we must have a vision for what can be built here in the future – and then we need to invest in that vision,” said Vice President Biden. “That’s what we’re doing today and that’s what this Recovery Act is about.”
The White House says the announcement marks the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made. Industry officials expect that this $2.4 billion investment, coupled with another $2.4 billion in cost sharing from the award winners, will result directly in the creation tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. battery and auto industries.
The awards cover the following areas:
- $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce batteries and their components and to expand battery recycling capacity;
- $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce electric drive components for vehicles, including electric motors, power electronics, and other drive train components; and
- $400 million in grants to purchase thousands of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for test demonstrations in several dozen locations; to deploy them and evaluate their performance; to install electric charging infrastructure; and to provide education and workforce training to support the transition to advanced electric transportation systems.
President Obama visited Navistar International Corporation, in Elkhart, Ind., to make the announcement. Navistar will receive a $39 million grant to manufacture electric trucks, which the company reports will ultimately create or save hundreds of jobs when full scale manufacturing at the site commences.