Michigan to land at least $1.2b in federal battery grants

The state of Michigan will take another step forward as a leader in battery technology today as the White House is expected to announce at least $1.2 billion in federal grants heading the state's way. The White House allocated $2.4 billion for battery and electrical vehicle grants, with at least half of that amount earmarked for the Big Three and other Michigan companies.

According to The Detroit News, General Motors will receive $270.5 million in federal grants. GM will use $106 million of its funds to build a new battery plant in Brownstown Township, Michigan, while another $30.5 million will be used to "develop, analyze, and demonstrate up to 5,000 Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicles (EREV) -- 125 Volt PHEVs to EPRI and utilities and 500 (Up to 5,000) Volt PHEVs to consumers."

Ford is slated to receive $92.7 million in federal grants, $62.7 million of which will go towards converting a Sterling Heights transmission plant to produce electric-drive transaxles. Ford's remaining $30 million will be used to "accelerate the launch and commercialization of PHEVs and EVs." As a part of the program, Ford will launch 130 Ford Escape PHEVs and 20 E450 van PHEVs.

Chrysler will take a $70 million slice of the pie, upgrading its production facilities "to develop, validate, and deploy 220 advanced plug-in hybrid electric pickups and minivans." The Department of Energy mistakenly suggested that the funds would be spent towards Chrysler's St. Louis, Missouri, assembly plants, which were recently shuttered. Chrysler says, however, that the funds will be used towards other plants.

A number of other Michigan entities will also receive federal funding, including A123 Systems, Johnson Controls, Compact Power (a division of LG Chem), as well as Wayne State, Michigan Tech and the University of Michigan.