Tomorrow at noon near Indianapolis, Senator Evan Bayh will speak at EnerDel's plant for the commissioning of "the country's first commercial-scale production line for lithium-ion automotive battery packs." Expect lots of smiling faces when Bayh helps cut the ceremonial ribbon for the line. EnerDel is the li-ion battery subsidiary of Ener1 and claims to be "first and currently only company in the U.S. with mass manufacturing capacity for this critically important high‐tech vehicle component [li-ion batteries]." Currently, Ener1's packs are used in the Think City. If all of Ener1's expansion plans go as planned, the company would be able to make 1.5 million hybrid battery packs (or 600,000 PHEV packs or 150,000 pure EV packs) a year. For a detailed look at Ener1's plans, see this post.

Bayh is on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which deals with national energy policy. Late last year, Bayh proposed $1.63 billion in grants for the new electric automobile industry, money that would help build manufacturing capacity for advanced batteries, development of the batteries and intelligent grid technology.

[Source: Ener1]


Indiana Senator Evan Bayh to Cut Ribbon on First Mass Manufacturing Line in the U.S. for Lithium‐Ion Automotive Batteries at EnerDel Plant

Indianapolis, IN (May 6, 2009) – Senator Evan Bayh will attend as honored guest a ceremony marking the commissioning of the country's first commercial‐scale production line for lithium‐ion automotive battery packs, the key energy component for next‐generation electric cars and hybrids, at EnerDel, on Friday, May 8, at 12:00 noon.

Senator Bayh, an active supporter in Washington of electrifying American automotive transportation, will cut the ribbon on the new installation at EnerDel, which is the first and currently only company in the U.S. with mass manufacturing capacity for this critically important high‐tech vehicle component.

To meet anticipated demand EnerDel plans to expand both cell manufacturing capacity at the Indianapolis plant and pack assembly capacity at the company's Noblesville facility. Further expansion is under consideration through purchase or construction of a third factory. Future anticipated annual production capacity would involve creating the ability to produce up to 1,500,000 hybrid packs, or 600,000 plug‐in hybrid systems, or 150,000 packs for pure electrics, or some combination thereof depending upon the company's customer portfolio. EnerDel expects to employee a total of 3,000 people once full target capacity is achieved.

Senator Bayh, who sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with oversight for national energy policy, is also expected to offer comments before other distinguished invitees from industry and the scientific community, EnerDel plant engineers and staff, as well as local and national media.

"Indiana long ago established itself as a national leader in building homegrown, high‐tech automotive components, so it is fitting that our state is now on the precipice of building a new domestic industry for the lithium‐ion automotive battery," Senator Bayh said.

"The electrification of transportation in America is fundamental to reducing our reliance on foreign oil and ensuring our nation's long‐term energy security," Senator Bayh adds. "I'm proud of the advances EnerDel is making to ensure that deployment of electric‐drive vehicles becomes a reality. If we succeed in making Indiana the Silicon Valley of alternative energy, we will help create a cleaner and more livable planet as we create thousands of new job opportunities for middle‐ class Hoosiers."

The event at EnerDel will include a plant tour and demonstration of the cell and battery pack manufacturing process, as well as a ride‐and‐drive in an electric vehicle powered by an EnerDel battery system.

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