The big battery and advanced vehicle grant announcement yesterday which includes $2.4 billion in funds to battery development and alternative drive vehicles under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has hit Michigan hard, but this time Michigan comes out a winner.
The state of Michigan including the Big Three automakers will be awarded $1.3 billion of the total $2.4 billion in grants.
Of the $1.5 billion in funding set aside for battery development, Michigan companies will receive $996 million in support.
The Big Three will receive funding broken down as follows; GM will received $241 million in grants part of which will go towards a new battery pack assembly plant in Brownstown Township; Ford will received nearly $100 million in grants; and Chrysler will receive around $70 million in grants.
Of the $241 million GM will receive, $105 million will be for “construction of U.S. manufacturing capabilities to produce the second-generation GM global rear-wheel electric drive system.”Given that the Volt is a front wheel drive vehicle, this hints that GM may have something different planned for the second generation Voltec vehicles.
GM received an additional $30 million for another project. According to GM, "This money is to be used to “develop, analyze, and demonstrate hundreds of Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs) –125 Volt PHEVs for electric utilities and 500 Volt PHEVs to consumers.” As the site GM-Volt.com suggests, "This certainly looks like GM plans on getting 500 Chevy Volts into the hands of US consumers for fleet testing sooner than the November 2010 launch date, with some sources saying perhaps as early as the summer of 2010."
Though the Big Three and GM in particular made out well with grant money, the other groups that focus on advanced technology vehicles and components did even better.
A123 Systems was awarded $249.1 million in grants and they currently operate in facilities in Romulus and Brownstown.
The local colleges including Wayne State University, Michigan Tech, and the University of Michigan will receive $10.5 million in grants to fund educational programs for students and teachers.
Johnson Controls will get $299.2 million in grants to fund research and production at their facility in Holland, Mich.
Compact Power, part of LG Chem, will get $151.4 million for production of battery cells for the Chevy Volt at their facilities in Saint Clair, Pontiac, and Holland, Mich.
And the list continues on. For Michiganders, this is a grand day as several struggling local and international companies with facilities in the state have received funds that are vital to their successes and for several of the companies, funds that will keep them operational.
The funds will be used almost exclusively for research and production of batteries, plug-in vehicle components, hybrid components, and battery material. The funding aims to kick start these advanced technology in the U.S. by providing vital resources to companies on the leading edge of this emerging technology.