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Energy

Obama Continues Battery Push

by Jeff Johnson
July 19, 2010 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 88, ISSUE 29

Some $2.4 billion in federal seed money for advanced batteries, provided through the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA), will lead to new jobs and spur a growing domestic battery and electric-vehicle industry, President Barack Obama said last week at Compact Power, a new battery plant under construction in Holland, Mich. At a press briefing on July 14, Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm said 62,000 manufacturing jobs would be created over the next decade by the stimulus spending for batteries in her state. A Department of Energy report released last week predicted that the U.S. share of the world’s batteries for advanced vehicles would increase from 2% to 20% by 2012 and up to 40% by 2015. Nine U.S. battery plants are starting construction with federal grants, matched dollar for dollar by industry; four of them will be operational by year’s end, according to the report. Additionally, 21 other plants that make battery or electric-vehicle components are being supported through ARRA funding.

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