Billion dollar battery

1 min read

More than 40 advanced battery and electric-drive projects are to receive a total of $2.4bn in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

More than 40 advanced battery and electric-drive projects are to receive a total of $2.4bn (£1.4bn) in funding, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The 48 projects, selected by the US Department of Energy, represent the single largest investment in advanced battery technology for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles ever made.

US industry officials expect that the investment, coupled with a matching $2.4bn from the award winners, will result directly in the creation of tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the US battery and auto industries.

Of the investment, $1.5bn has been awarded to US-based manufacturers to produce batteries and their components and expand their battery recycling capacity.

About $50m will be spent to allow manufacturers to produce electric-drive components for vehicles, including electric motors, power electronics, and other drive-train components.

A further $400m in grants will be used to purchase thousands of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for test demonstrations in several dozen locations, deploy them and evaluate their performance, install electric-charging infrastructure and provide education and workforce training.

Of the many award winners, Navistar will receive a $39m grant to manufacture electric trucks, while large automakers based in Michigan  including GM, Chrysler, and Ford  will receive a total of more than $400m to manufacture thousands of advanced hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as batteries and electric-drive components.

For its part, Smith Electric will receive a $10m grant to build and deploy up to 100 electric vehicles, including vans, pickups, and its Newton-brand medium-duty trucks.

On the battery front, A123 and Johnson Controls will receive around $550m to establish a manufacturing base for advanced batteries, while Compact Power and Dow Kokam will receive more than $300m to manufacture battery cells.

With the aid of a $95.5m grant, Saft America will construct a new plant to manufacture lithium-ion cells, modules and battery packs.

East Penn Manufacturing will use its $32.5m in funding to increase the production of its valve-regulated lead-acid batteries and its UltraBattery, a lead-acid battery combined with a carbon supercapacitor.

A complete list of all the award winners can be found here.