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Jul 152010

Compact Power Inc. will supply lithium-ion battery packs for electric cars.

From Green Right Now Reports

Prior to President Obama’s trip to Holland, Mich., today for the groundbreaking of an electric-car battery factory, the Department of Energy released a new report on the economic impact of Recovery Act investments in advanced batteries and vehicles.

The report, “Recovery Act Investments: Transforming America’s Transportation Sector,” shows that Recovery Act funds are being matched with private capital to create new jobs, construct new plants, add new manufacturing lines, install electric vehicle charging stations across the country and help establish a domestic electric vehicle industry.

Compact Power Inc., a unit of South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd., received a $151 million grant to make electric-vehicle batteries. Its factory is projected to employ more than 300 workers who will make batteries for General Motors Co.’s for 52,000 Chevy Volts a year and will also supply batteries for the new electric Ford Focus.

Among the report’s highlights:

  • For every dollar of the $2.4 billion in seed money provided through the Recovery Act advanced battery and electric vehicle grants, the report found that companies have matched it at minimum dollar for dollar.
  • Pre-Recovery Act, the U.S. produced just 2 percent of the world’s batteries for advanced vehicles. Following Recovery Act investments, the U.S. will have the capacity to produce 20 percent of these batteries by 2012 and up to 40 percent by 2015.
  • Nine new battery plants opening as a result of Recovery Act investments will have started construction by Thursday – and four of those will be operational by the end of the year.  In addition, 21 other plants will make battery or electric vehicle components with the help of Recovery Act grants.
  • Before the Recovery Act, high battery costs meant a car with a 100 mile range would need a battery that cost $33,000.  But because of the higher-volume domestic manufacturing resulting from government investments, the cost of such a battery could come down to $16,000 by the end of 2013 and $10,000 by the end of 2015. That is expected to dramatically drive down the cost of an electric vehicle and greatly expand the domestic market.
  • Before the Recovery Act, there were fewer than 500 electric vehicle charging locations in the U.S., but as a result of Recovery Act investments, there will be more than 20,000 by 2012.