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Distressed Michigan Lines Up For Battery Aid

Taxpayer subsidies needed to spur electrification of autos.

by on May.22, 2009

GM pulled  the plu on EV1 in 1999 after fewer than 2300 had been leased at Saturn dealers after theee years.

GM pulled the plug on EV1 in 1999 after fewer than 2300 were leased at Saturn dealers since 1996.

The Michigan Congressional delegation is moving to lock up government money for building electric cars. Both Democrats and Republicans have joined together in pressing the U.S. Department of Energy for a large share of the $2 billion the DOE is preparing to distribute to support development of advanced batteries, electric motors and the electronic systems.

The Obama Administration and the green movement are claiming that electric cars will ultimately create jobs in the ailing auto sector as unemployment across the country continues to rise to record post war levels. This political talking point, repeated over and over again, is thus far a political promise that is not backed up by any data.

In a letter signed by all 17 members, the Michigan delegation asked U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu for special consideration.

“We are writing to express our united support for the full consideration of the applications submitted to the Department of Energy by some of the most innovative and knowledgeable firms, collaborations and individuals from Michigan, which is home to an unparalleled expertise and experience in deploying large-scale new manufacturing technologies,” the letter said.   

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” included $2 billion for grants for manufacturing of advanced batteries, electric motors and related electronics for electric vehicles. The stated purpose of this funding is to invest in vital home-grown technologies and job creation in a new industry. The electric vehicle industry needs the development of a U.S. manufacturing base for batteries, and to “accelerate development and commercialization of reliable, safe and affordable electric drive vehicle systems,” the letter said.    (more…)