Hybrid and electric cars offer a range of benefits, including reduced emissions and enhanced energy security. But new jobs are the most immediate payout from government support of advanced auto technologies and lithium batteries. Michigan will add thousands of new jobs as it ramps up to manufacture as many as 400,000 battery packs a year by 2012.
A frenzy of manufacturing activity began last August when Vice President Joe Biden came to Michigan to announce $2.4 billion in grants for the electric vehicle industry from the US Department of Energy. Projects in Michigan received $1.36 billion�more than half of that money.
Federal grants totaling $860 million, and more than $700 million in state tax credits, are specifically going to battery makers to build new factories in Michigan. In total, more than $5.3 billion in electric vehicle-related projects have been started or announced in Michigan, said Doug Parks, senior vice president of business development for the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Jumpstarting the Economy with Battery Production
In a letter sent to hourly workers last week, Ford announced that it will build battery packs for hybrid and electric cars at its Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti Township. The move is part of a $450 million investment that will bring new jobs to the area and protect hundreds of others. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to build a range of hybrids and electric cars at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne. Together, the two projects are expected to create 1,000 new jobs in the state by 2012.
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]