©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Michigan Economic Development Corporation Offers Strategies to Position Michigan as a Leading Fuel Cell Manufacturer

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

Jennifer Kopp
(517) 335-4590

Innovative Plan Allows State to Capitalize on Emerging Technology

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Automotive Partnership released a study today that identifies tactics to position Michigan as a leading candidate for potential fuel cell manufacturing facility investment.  

The study, authored by the Center for Automotive Research, was commissioned due to recent technological developments that suggest the internal combustion engine may eventually be replaced by fuel cell technology.This replacement could affect nearly 27,000 Michigan workers employed at 10 engine plants and five powertrain plants. 

“Alternative powertrain technology has placed our state’s auto industry at a crossroads,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.“In order to maintain our state’s position as the automotive technology center of the world, Michigan must embrace this emerging technology or potentially lose thousands of jobs.This study offers the necessary steps to continue Michigan’s manufacturing leadership in the technology driven economy.” 

Based on discussions with fuel cell manufacturers and suppliers, the study recommends five key areas that Michigan must address to better position itself as a leader in alternative powertrain technology and to become a viable candidate for fuel cell manufacturing: 

1. The creation of the Michigan Advanced Automotive Powertrain Technology Alliance. 

2. An investigation on the feasibility of creating a power electronics “Center of Excellence.” 

3. Establish a Michigan Hydrogen Infrastructure Working Group to include the investigation of necessary changes and lead time requirements for service and repair of infrastructure related to fuel cell and alternative technology vehicles. 

4. Promote the demonstration and testing of prototype fuel cell vehicles and support the commercialization of fuel cells for vehicle and stationary power generation applications. 

5. Conduct an economic study to determine the most appropriate financial incentives for the development and commercialization of fuel cell and other advanced technology vehicles. 

“The commissioning of this study demonstrates the MEDC’s forward thinking approach to researching the manufacturing process, skills and materials necessary to produce fuel cells and alternative powertrain vehicles,” said David Cole, director of the Center for Automotive Research.  

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is within the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM) in Ann Arbor.CAR conducts research in significant issues related to the future direction of the global automotive industry and organizes and conducts forums of value to the automotive community. 

To view the complete study, click here. 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. 

###