While Vice President Biden will discuss the economy during his Detroit visit, he's also expected to announce the first in what could be billions of dollars the government plans to invest in an advanced battery development infrastructure.
Vice President Joe Biden will be taking a trip to Detroit, on Wednesday, where he’s expected to not only address issues of the economy and the struggling U.S. auto industry, but also to announce the first federal grants aimed at spurring the development of the nation’s nascent advanced battery industry.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama announced plans to invest $2.4 billion to promote both the development of battery technology and the facilities to produce them, here in the U.S. He noted that it was critical to stop ceding dominance in the field to other nations — notably Japan and China, which are considered furthest along in the development of lithium-ion technology.
Biden’s appearance at the quasi-private NextEnergy Center, a high-tech incubator, will come at an appropriate moment. After plunging to less than a quarter of last year’s peak, this past spring, oil prices have been steadily on the rise again, in recent weeks. On Tuesday, bidding pushed petroleum up about $70 a barrel, again. Though still barely half last year’s record, industry reports suggest the numbers could top $80 in the coming weeks.