Michigan lawmakers are hoping that this week's announcement that General Motors will build a battery pack assembly facility in Michigan to support production of the Chevrolet Volt is just the beginning. Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a bill passed by the legislature that will provide up to $335 million in tax credits to companies that build R&D or manufacturing facilities in the state. The hope is to draw more high-tech jobs here and to ensure that American automakers are not totally reliant on imported batteries for future plug-in and hybrid vehicles.

So far there have been a number of small scale battery facilities, mostly research institutions, in Michigan. Compact Power Inc, the U.S. subsidiary of LG Chem, has been building the prototype battery packs for the Volt in its Troy, MI facility. Legislators are hoping that actual cell manufacturing plants land here. A123 Systems may be among the first if it gets the $1.84 billion DOE loan it has applied for.

[Source: Detroit News]

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