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When GM announced at the Detroit Auto Show in January that it would build a plant to assemble battery packs for the Chevy Volt in southeast Michigan, it was noteworthy that the cells for those packs would still be coming from South Korea. While plenty of research is happening here, as with most other industries, it seemed that all the actual manufacturing was going off shore. The combination of multiple product announcements by American automakers that include lithium batteries and $2 billion in

A123 Systems announced today that it has applied for $1.84 billion in loans from the Department of Energy to help contribute to the $2.3 billion required to pay for the construction of battery plants in the United States. In what should be good news for Michigan, the first of the facilities A123 is planning would be located there. If A123 gets the funds, it plans to have enough cell manufacturing capacity in place by 2013 to support 5 million hybrid vehicles or half a million battery electric ve