Obama Touts Advanced Battery Jobs, Ford Announces Focus EV Supplier

· · 9 years ago

Ford has announced that LG Chem subsidiary, Compact Power Inc., will assemble battery packs for its forthcoming Focus EV at its Troy, Mich. factory. LG Chem will initially manufacture the cells that will go into the packs in Korea, but in the coming years production will shift to a new LG facility in Holland, Mich. The new plants will provide lithium ion batteries for both the Focus EV and the Chevy Volt.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama will appear at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Troy plant, which is the beneficiary of $151 million in federal stimulus money. The Troy CPI plant will create about 300 jobs in the next two years, providing lithium ion packs for both the Focus EV and the Chevy Volt.

Obama has spent a lot of time in battery plants lately, promoting the success of the Recovery Act in bringing green technology and manufacturing jobs back to the Midwest. Last week, the President toured the Smith Electric Vehicles plant in Kansas City, which was the recipient of $10 million in Department of Energy grants. On Friday, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is expected to make further battery-related announcements at a Delphi Automotive Systems plant in Indiana.

In addition to the jobs benefit, the White House also says that the stimulus money is at least partially responsible for helping to bring down the cost of lithium ion packs by an estimated 50 percent by 2013. In the next five years, the administration claims that 40 percent of advanced battery manufacturing will take place inside of the United States, something it says would never be possible without $2.4 billion in battery grants and incentives from the Recovery Act.

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