Friday, July 16, 2010

US government to push EV battery development

Source from: Anthony Lim
Credits to: Star Motoring

The White House plans to promote its work to develop electric cars in the US this week, dispatching administration officials across the nation to discuss advanced batteries and new vehicles powered by electricity.

President Barack Obama will travel to Holland, Michigan, on Thursday for the groundbreaking of a Compact Power factory, which received US$151mil from a federal stimulus program to open the US$303mil plant. The factory is expected to manufacture lithium ion cells and employ about 450 people by 2013.

Pushing clean energy, Obama has vowed to bring a million plug-in hybrid vehicles to US highways by 2015 and his administration has set aside billions of stimulus dollars to bolster US battery manufacturers. The funding is aimed at creating a battery industry in the US that can compete with Asian manufacturers and help the US reduce its dependence on imported oil.

Soon, there will be rivals to Japanese EV battery manufacturers.

The administration will hold several events this week to emphasise new high-tech jobs spurred by electric vehicles, said a White House official. The official was not authorised to speak publicly before an official announcement. Other events are planned this week in Vermont, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Obama administration has provided US$2.4bil in federal grants to develop next-generation electric vehicles and batteries. The government has estimated the stimulus funds could spur the production of 500,000 advanced batteries a year by late 2014.

A report to be released on Thurs by the Energy Department will estimate that stimulus funding could bring down battery costs from US$33,000 for a battery with a 100-mile range to US$16,000 by the end of 2013 and to US$10,000 by the end of 2015. More than 20,000 electric vehicle charging stations will be available by 2012, compared with less than 500 before the stimulus program began, the report will say. - AP

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