Wednesday, January 14, 2009
New law marks defining moment for Michigan's future
DETROIT– Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed into law legislation that provides a potential $335 million in refundable tax credits to encourage companies to develop and manufacture advanced batteries and commercialize advanced battery technologies in Michigan. The initiative – passed with overwhelming bipartisan support – is the first of its kind in the United States.
With a backdrop of hybrid, electric, and green vehicles cruising around a one-eighth mile test track winding through trees and waterfalls, the governor signed the historic legislation at the70,000-square-foot EcoXperience exhibiton display at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“Armed with the most aggressive economic strategy in the country and more collective talent in high-tech automotive research and development and manufacturing, no state is more equipped than Michigan to not only build the cars of the future but also the batteries and systems that will power them,” Granholm said. “These groundbreaking incentives for battery development and manufacturing add to a comprehensive list of innovative tools and programs like the 21st Century Jobs Fund and Centers of Energy Excellence we now have in place to become the advanced battery capital of the world.”
Specifically, the new law authorizes the Michigan Economic Growth Authority to provide refundable tax credits totaling up to $335 million over five years for:
the research, development and manufacture of battery packs used in hybrid plug-in vehicles;
vehicle engineering that supports battery integration;
advanced automotive battery technology engineering; and
- the construction of integrated battery cell manufacturing facilities.
James C. Epolito, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said today’s bill signing is sure to carry forward momentum generated within the last week following announcements by A123 Systems and GM that they are planning new advanced battery manufacturing facilities – the first in North America – in Michigan
“Our efforts to target emerging high-tech industry clusters like alternative energy and fuels are enabling us to take the lead in the development of this industry,” Epolito said. “We’re looking forward to welcoming to Michigan many more companies operatingand growing new jobs in this space.”
The bill signed today was House Bill 6611 sponsored by State Representative Lee Gonzales (D-Flint.)
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