This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 12, 2009

DOE Awards $2.4 Billion for U.S. Batteries and Electric Vehicles

Photo of the Chevy Volt, an aggressive-looking four-door sedan, with a sunset in the background.

In With the New. The new DOE funds will support the U.S. production of advanced batteries and electric-drive vehicles, including the Chevy Volt.
Credit: © GM Corp.

In the largest single investment ever in advanced battery technology, President Obama announced last week that 48 new projects that will receive $2.4 billion in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The projects, selected by DOE through a competitive process, are designed to accelerate U.S. manufacturing capacity for batteries and electric drive components, as well as the deployment of electric drive vehicles. The new awards cover the following areas: $1.5 billion to U.S.-based manufacturers to produce batteries and their components and to expand battery recycling capacity; $500 million 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 to purchase thousands of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs) for test demonstrations. The winners are required to match the federal investment. See the White House press release.

The largest award will go to Johnson Controls, Inc., which will receive $229 million for battery production in Holland, Michigan, and for the production of battery components in Oregon by its partner, Entek. Johnson Controls is currently teamed up with Saft to produce lithium-ion batteries in France for Mercedes and BMW hybrids, and it plans to produce lithium-ion batteries at its Michigan facility for use in Ford's PHEV and in a commercial vehicle to be produced by Azure Dynamics. Saft America, Inc. will also receive $95.5 million to produce lithium-ion battery packs in Florida, but those battery packs will be slated for industrial and agricultural vehicles and defense applications. And Compact Power, Inc., a subsidiary of LG Chem, will receive $151.4 million to manufacture lithium-ion polymer battery cells for the Chevy Volt, an extended-range EV from General Motors Corporation (GM). Other major awardees include A123 Systems, Inc., receiving $249 million; Dow Kokam, $162 million; EnerDel, Inc., $118 million; Exide Technologies with Axion Power International, $34 million; and East Penn Manufacturing Company, $32 million. See the Johnson Controls press release.

The major automakers also received large awards. GM will receive $105.9 million to build a facility in Michigan for the high-volume assembly of battery packs for the Chevy Volt; $105 million to build facilities in Maryland and Michigan that will manufacture GM's electric drive system; and $30.5 million to test hundreds of Chevy Volts, as well as a variety of PHEVs. Ford Motor Company will receive $62.7 million to produce an electric drive transaxle with integrated power electronics at an existing transmission plant in Michigan, plus another $30 million to deploy 130 Ford Escape PHEVs and 20 Ford E450 Van PHEVs and to work with 15 electric utilities to accelerate the commercialization of PHEVs and EVs. And Chrysler LLC will receive $70 million to manufacture 220 PHEV pickups and minivans in Michigan and to deploy them in 11 fleets. In addition, the Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation and its partner Nissan will demonstrate up to 5,000 Nissan EVs, using $99.8 million in federal funds, while deploying up to 12,750 electric chargers in 11 cities in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. Nissan recently unveiled the Leaf, an EV with a range of more than 100 miles, which is slated to go on sale in the United States in late 2010. See the Nissan press release and Web site.

Truck makers will also garner federal funds, as Navistar, Inc. will receive $39.2 million to develop and deploy 400 EV delivery trucks with a 100-mile range, and Smith Electric Vehicles will receive $10 million to develop and deploy 100 EV light- and medium-duty trucks and vans. Smith delivered its first electric trucks to six companies in late July. The Smith Newton has a top speed of 50 miles per hour, a range in excess of 100 miles, and can carry payloads weighing up to 16,280 pounds. A number of major companies also earned awards to manufacture electric drive components, including Delphi Automotive Systems, receiving $89.3 million; Allison Transmission, Inc., $62.8 million; Remi, Inc., $60.2 million; UQM Technologies, Inc., $45.1 million; and Magna E-Car Systems of America, Inc., $40 million. An additional $214 million will support 10 suppliers of chemicals and components for lithium-ion batteries, while $21 million will go to EnerG2, Inc., an Oregon-based producer of supercapacitors, a type of electrical storage device that can be charged very rapidly. Looking to the future, another $9.5 million will go to TOXCO Incorporated for a facility to recycle lithium-ion batteries. Finally, $39.1 million will go to 10 colleges and universities to support educational and training programs relating to advanced electric drive vehicles. See the full list (PDF 34 KB) and a map (PDF 369 KB) of award winners. Download Adobe Reader.