In the message-appropriate setting of the Southern California Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center, President Obama announced yesterday the availability of $2.4 billion to aid the development of plug-in cars and the infrastructure required to keep them charged. The money will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and is divided into 3 parts.

  • $1.5 billion for U.S.-based manufacturers to produce batteries and components
  • $500 million to help produce other electric vehicle (EV) components such as electric motors
  • $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate plug-in hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts which could include charging stations, electric rail and training for technicians to build and repair EVs

The announcement was the center piece of a speech that focused on energy and the economy. The President stressed the need for more renewable sources for electricity and less dependence on imported oil, noting that the SUV of today gets worse mileage than the Model T of 100 years ago. While perhaps not the most even of vehicular match-ups, the point was subtextually made that gains in efficiency can be a source of prosperity. Hit the jump for video of the speech (in two parts) as well as the press release from the Department of Energy (DOE) about the announcement.

[Source: White House blog / DOE / YouTube, Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty ]






PRESS RELEASE

President Obama Announces $2.4 Billion in Funding to Support Next Generation Electric Vehicles DOE Support for Advanced Battery Manufacturing and Electric Vehicle Deployment to Create Tens of Thousands of U.S. Jobs

POMONA, CA - Today, President Barack Obama announced the availability of $2.4 billion in funding to put American ingenuity and America's manufacturers to work producing next generation Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles and the advanced battery components that will make these vehicles run. The initiative will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and help us end our addiction to foreign oil. Americans who decide to purchase these Plug-in Hybrid vehicles can claim a tax credit of up to $7,500.

"This investment will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will put Americans back to work," President Obama said. "It positions American manufacturers on the cutting edge of innovation and solving our energy challenges."

While visiting Southern California Edison's Electric Vehicle Center, the President announced the following:
* The Department of Energy is offering up to $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce these highly efficient batteries and their components.
* The Department of Energy is offering up to $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors and other components.
* The Department of Energy is offering up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate Plug-In Hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts -- like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles.

By contributing to the reduction of petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions, these projects will advance the United States' economic recovery, national energy security, and environmental sustainability. Today's announcement will also help meet the President's goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015.

Advanced batteries, capable of meeting standards for durability, performance, and weight, are a key technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and other electric vehicles. DOE plans to provide assistance to construct or upgrade battery manufacturing, component, and recycling plants for lithium-ion and other advanced batteries, as well as for production factories for electric drive vehicle power electronics. These agreements will help lower the cost of battery packs, batteries, and electric propulsion systems, enabling manufacturers to establish a thriving domestic electric vehicle industry. These advanced battery factories will also support battery manufacturing for consumer products, as well as military and utility applications.

DOE will also support demonstration, evaluation, and education projects to help develop the market for advanced electric drive vehicles. These vehicles will get up to 100 miles per gallon, achieve a driving range of up to 40 miles without recharging and run much like today's hybrids beyond that 40 mile range. Under this program, the DOE will also demonstrate other electric vehicle technologies such as truck stop electrification to reduce idling, electric rail, and necessary infrastructure. The solicitation covers demonstration projects that test a variety of vehicles, including small off-road vehicles, passenger vehicles, and over-the-road trucks, in geographically and climatically diverse locations.

These projects will be funded with funds appropriated by the President's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Together, the Administration expects these projects will create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs and help end our addiction to foreign oil. The Act gives preference to activities that can be started and completed expeditiously. DOE's approach includes jointly funding partnerships with industry to develop technologies that will support the Recovery Act's goals and accelerate the adoption of successful technologies in high volume production vehicles. More information on the Recovery Act and projects funded by it are available at Recovery.gov