13 Responses to Obama announces $2.4B in stimulus funds for U.S. batteries and EVs: “I don’t want to just reduce our dependence on foreign oil and then end up being dependent on their foreign innovations.”
President Obama announced 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive $2.4 billion in stimulus funds. You can read details here. The awards cover:
- $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce batteries and their components and to expand battery recycling capacity;
- $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce electric drive components for vehicles, including electric motors, power electronics, and other drive train components; and
- $400 million in grants to purchase thousands of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for test demonstrations in several dozen locations; to deploy them and evaluate their performance; to install electric charging infrastructure; and to provide education and workforce training to support the transition to advanced electric transportation systems.
Obama is always at the leading edge of progressive messaging, so I’ll excerpt the energy portion of his remarks in Wakarusa, Indiana today below:
The battle for America’s future will be fought and won in places like Elkhart and Detroit, Goshen and Pittsburgh, South Bend, Youngstown — in cities and towns across Indiana and across the Midwest and across the country that have been the backbone of America. It will be won by making places like Elkhart what they once were and can be again — and that’s centers of innovation and entrepreneurship and ingenuity and opportunity; the bustling, whirring, humming engines of American prosperity.
For as the world grows more competitive, we can’t afford to run the race at half-strength or half-speed. If we hope to lead this century like we did the last century, we have to create the conditions and the opportunities for places like Elkhart to succeed. We have to harness the potential — the innovative and creative spirit — that’s waiting to be awakened all across America. That’s how we’ll rebuild this economy stronger than before: strong enough to compete in the global economy; strong enough to avoid the cycles of boom and bust that have wreaked so much havoc on our economy; strong enough to support the jobs of the 21st century; and strong enough to unleash prosperity for everybody, not just some.
But before we can rebuild our economy for tomorrow, we have to rescue it today. Now, that’s why we passed a Recovery Act less than one month after I took office — and we did so without any of the earmarks or pork-barrel spending that’s so common in Washington, D.C. And let me just talk about the so-called stimulus package, or the Recovery Act, because there’s been a lot of misinformation out there about the Recovery Act. Let me tell you what it is and what it’s not….
First half, tax relief. Second half, support for individuals, small businesses, and states that had fallen on hard times.
The last third of the Recovery Act — and that’s what we’re going to talk about here today — is for investments that are not only putting people back to work in the short term, but laying a new foundation for growth and prosperity in the long run. These are the jobs of building the future of America: upgrading our roads and our bridges; renovating schools and hospitals. The Elkhart area has seen the benefits: Dozens were employed to resurface the runway at Elkhart Airport; a four-mile stretch of highway is being upgraded on US-33; the Heart City Health Center has received recovery dollars to expand services and hire additional staff.
And as part of the recovery plan, we’re making a historic commitment to innovation. The Recovery Act creates jobs doubling our capacity to generate renewable energy; building a new smart grid that carry electricity from coast to coast; laying down broadband lines and high-speed rail lines; and providing the largest boost in basic research in history — to ensure that America leads in the breakthrough discoveries of the new century, just as we led in the last. Because that’s what we do best in America — we turn ideas into inventions, and inventions into industries.
Now, history should be our guide. The United States led the world’s economies in the 20th century because we led the world in innovation. Today, the competition is keener; the challenge is tougher; and that’s why innovation is more important than ever. That’s the key to good, new jobs in the 21st century. That’s how we will ensure a high quality of life for this generation and future generations. With these investments, we’re planting the seeds of progress for our country, and good-paying, private-sector jobs for the American people.
So that’s why I’m here today — to announce $2.4 billion in highly competitive grants to develop the next generation of fuel-efficient cars and trucks powered by the next generation of battery technologies all made right here in the U.S. of A. (Applause.) Right here in America. (Applause.) Made in America. (Applause.)
For too long, we failed to invest in this kind of innovative work, even as countries like China and Japan were racing ahead. That’s why this announcement is so important: This represents the largest investment in this kind of technology in American history.
See, I’m committed to a strategy that ensures America leads in the design and the deployment of the next generation of clean-energy vehicles. This is not just an investment to produce vehicles today; this is an investment in our capacity to develop new technologies tomorrow. This is about creating the infrastructure of innovation.
Indiana is the second largest recipient of grant funding, and it’s a perfect example of what this will mean. You’ve got Purdue University, Notre Dame, Indiana University, and Ivy Tech, and they’re all going to be receiving grant funding to develop degree and training programs for electric vehicles. That’s number one. (Applause.) We’ve got EnerDel, a small business in Indianapolis that will develop batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. You’ve got Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, Delphi in Kokomo, Remy in Pendleton, and Magna located in Muncie, all who will help develop electric-drive components for commercial and passenger vehicles.
And right here in Elkhart County, Navistar — which has taken over two Monaco Coach manufacturing facilities — will receive a $39 million grant to build 400 advanced battery electric trucks — (applause) — with a range of a hundred miles, like the trucks here today. (Applause.) Just a few months ago, folks thought that these factories might be closed for good. But now they’re coming back to life.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you!
THE PRESIDENT: You’re welcome. (Laughter.) Thank the American people. (Applause.)
The company estimates that this investment will help create or save hundreds of jobs in the area. And already, folks like Herman are being rehired. So, overall, the companies believe these investments in battery technology will save or create thousands of Hoosier jobs. And I want to point out these thousands of jobs wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the leaders in Congress who supported the Recovery Act — leaders like Evan Bayh and Joe Donnelly, who’s here today. (Applause.) And Andre Carson and Brad Ellsworth and Peter Visclosky. (Applause.) And these grants will create tens of thousands of jobs all across America.
In fact, today, Vice President Biden is announcing grant winners in Michigan. Members of my Cabinet are fanning out across the country announcing recipients elsewhere. We’re providing the incentives to those businesses — large and small — that stand ready to help us lead a new clean-energy economy by developing new technologies for new kinds of vehicles.
See, I don’t want to just reduce our dependence on foreign oil and then end up being dependent on their foreign innovations. I don’t want to have to import a hybrid car — I want to be able to build a hybrid car here. (Applause.) I don’t want to have to import a hybrid truck — I want to build a hybrid truck here. (Applause.) I don’t want to have to import a windmill from someplace else — I want to build a windmill right here in Indiana. (Applause.) I want the cars of the future and the technologies that power them to be developed and deployed right here, in America.
And that’s just the beginning. In no area will innovation be more important than in the development of new ways to produce, use, and save energy. So we’re not only doubling our capacity to generate renewable energy and building a stronger and smarter electric grid. We’ve helped reach an agreement to raise fuel economy standards. And for the first time in history, we passed a bill to create a system of clean energy incentives which will help make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy in America — while helping to end our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations.
The bill passed the House; we’re now working to pass legislation through the Senate. Because we know that real innovation depends not on government, but on the generative potential of the American people. If the American people get a clear set of rules, if they know what’s needed, what challenges we’ve got to meet, they’ll figure out how to do it.