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August 10, 2009
Volume 87, Number 32
p. 9

Stimulus Money

Battery Makers And Suppliers Find Out Who Gets The Big Bucks

Ann M. Thayer

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The U.S. government has announced the battery and electric drive projects that will get grants totaling $2.4 billion under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (C&EN, July 27, page 24). Through a competitive process, the Department of Energy selected 48 projects, many involving chemical firms and universities, intended to advance the production of 1 million electric vehicles in the U.S. by 2015.

One big winner is A123Systems, which uses nanophosphate battery technology originating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It will get $249 million.

Dow Kokam, a proposed joint venture between Dow Chemical and Townsend Kokam, will receive $161 million to develop lithium polymer battery technology. The partners plan to build a battery facility in Midland, Mich., by early 2011 that will eventually supply 60,000 vehicles per year.

And Compact Power, a U.S. subsidiary of South Korea’s LG Chem, is set to receive $151 million to help it produce lithium-ion polymer cells.

Meanwhile, chemical and material suppliers—including Novolyte Technologies, BASF Catalysts, Honeywell, Chemetall Foote, and Celgard—will see grants ranging from $21 million to $49 million. These firms plan to build facilities to make battery components such as lithium electrolytes, polymer separators, and anodes and cathodes.

The overall investment is the single largest ever made in advanced battery technology for electric vehicles, according to a statement from the White House. With matching investments by the award winners, the projects are expected to directly create tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

“This is the type of comprehensive, collaborative approach that is needed to give the U.S. a sustained leadership position in this leading-edge industry,” Dow CEO Andrew N. Liveris says.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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