In the wake of the bridge loan to the General Motors
last Friday from the TARP fund, US Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) made a federal aid proposal of his own. Bayh is proposing that as part of a stimulus package early in 2009, Congress should include $1.63 billion in grants to help fund the build-out of US manufacturing capacity for advanced batteries, development of the batteries and intelligent grid technology to help support widespread use of electric vehicles
. Not surprisingly, some of the chief beneficiaries of this aid would be EnerDel, Indy Power Systems, Altairnano, Remy International, and Bright Automotive, all Indiana-based companies.
Bayh and a dozen other Senators sent a letter to Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) making the proposal. Investments in battery and grid technology and manufacturing are critical to ensure that plug-in vehicles are economically viable as well as making sure that America doesn't trade foreign oil dependency for foreign battery dependency. Currently, the majority of batteries for electric and plug-in vehicles are being sourced from overseas, mainly Japan. Smart-grid technology with bi-directional communication and power flow is also critical to allow for public charging and vehicle to grid energy flow.
[Source: Senator Evan Bayh