President Obama today announced the award of $2.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to cover new development subsidies for 48 key U.S. battery producers and automakers. In making this largest-ever investment in advanced battery technology, the President noted: "If we want to reduce our dependence on oil, put Americans back to work and reassert our manufacturing sector as one of the greatest in the world, we must produce the advanced, efficient vehicles of the future."
As anticipated, the biggest beneficiary was the state of Michigan, where over half of that total funding will be heading to support operations that currently are located there -- or will soon be. Roughly $1.5 billion of this subsidy has been allocated to battery development and recycling programs with $500 million earmarked for work on system-related drive components and $400 million to be used for the purchase and field testing of new hybrid/EV packages and the creation of suitable infrastructure to support them. Johnson Controls, Inc. received the single largest payout, getting $299.2 million to produce nickel-cobalt-metal cells and battery separators, while Chrysler's key battery supplier, A123Systems, Inc. received $249.1 million to build cells, packs and modules as well as produce nano-iron phosphate cathode powder and electrode coatings. Other prime beneficiaries on the battery side of the ledger included KD Advanced Battery Group LLC ($161 million), Compact Power which will supply batteries for the GM Volt ($151.4 million) and Indiana-based EnerDel, Inc. ($118.5 million). To further their individual electric dreams, General Motors Company received $105.5 million in direct funding, Ford Motor Company was awarded $92.7 million and Chrysler Group LLC got $70 million.