The recent funding awarded by the federal government to battery manufacturing and advanced technology vehicles that we reported on a few weeks back (read more about it here) was warmly welcomed by the top companies that were selected to receive the funding. However, not all applicants for the grants are satisfied with the selections by our government.
Many of the smaller, innovative companies were overlooked in the grant selection process. Instead, the government focused on well developed, successful, large companies for most of their grant choices.
According to Edmunds, most of the grants went to what they refer to as the old boys network and very little of the funding was aimed at research and innovation. The old boys network refers to the companies that have been around for a long time. Many of these companies have products that are consumer ready at this point and the additional grants merely help them bring the vehicles or batteries to market quickly.
The companies left out of the grant funding are the innovative, small start ups that have ideas for the future of the automotive world, but desperately needs the funds to see the products through to the development stages. The grants from the government focused on here and now, rather than innovative, breakthrough ides for the future.
Even the Wall Street Journal made a mention that the $2.4 billion in funds completely ignored proposals from smaller, cutting edge, venture backed companies. Such ignorance could hurt future advancements in vehicle for the sake of getting the current crop of advanced vehicles on the road as soon as possible.
Felix Kramer, founder of CalCars a leading advocacy group for plug-in vehicle wrote a column about the decisions by the federal government. The column states that CalCars has begun an informal hearing with companies that did not receive grant money. Kramer said one respondent, "made the comparison of funding dinosaur land-line companies at the birth of the cell phone age."
Obviously some companies are upset they were not selected for grant money, but the government's decision to fund current technology versus technology of the future could have an impact on all of us.