Wednesday, August 5, 2009
SoCal Mostly Passed On Battery Stimulus
Southern California was for the most part passed up on the Department of Energy's $2.4 billion in awards, announced today, for stimulating the electric battery industry in the U.S., with only a single project--a $45.4M project from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)--receiving funds from the program. The Recovery Act Awards for Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative granted 48 projects funding, with the bulk of the funding going to companies in Michigan. The SCAQMD's project--which is headquartered in Diamond Bar--involves deployment of a fully integration, production plug-in hybrid system for Class 2-5 vehicles, plus a demonstration fleet of 378 trucks and shuttle buses. In that project, manufacturing of those hybrid systems is being done in Galesburg, Michigan, and Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Despite being mostly ignored in the stimulus, the suppliers for several So-Cal electric and hybrid car firms--including Ener1, which provides the batteries for Irvine-based Fisker Automotive, and UQM Technologies, the propulsion systems provider for Santa Monica-based CODA Automotive--did gain substantial funds from the grants.