Granholm Applauds GM Plans for Lithium-Ion Battery Assembly Operations in Michigan

Monday, January 12, 2009

Facility will be first in nation by a major automaker

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today praised General Motors’ (GM) plans to begin battery-pack production in Michigan at the first lithium-ion battery assembly facility operated by a major automaker in the United States. The GM news comes just days after an announcement by A123 Systems that it plans to establish a manufacturing center in southeast Michigan for lithium-ion advanced storage systems.

General Motors also announced it will partner with the University of Michigan to create the five-year, $5 million Advanced Battery Coalition for Drivetrains (ABCD). The coalition will develop standards and tools for controls architecture; packaging; incorporation of cooling strategies; and thermal, electrochemical, and structural finite-element simulation.

"We have worked aggressively to become a worldwide leader in advanced battery development and production, and GM demonstrates that Michigan is the place to be,” Granholm said. “Our investment in the alternative energy sector will lead to further job creation and will help our nation end its dependence on foreign oil.”

In September, state incentives were approved to encourage GM’s planned $838 million project to produce the new Chevrolet Volt, along with additional advanced energy and conventional fuel vehicles and components, at various locations across Michigan. The project is expected to retain a total of 14,380 jobs. Today’s announcement by General Motors of its plans to invest $30 million is expected to create 100 new jobs.

In addition to putting state initiatives in place to encourage battery research, development and production in Michigan, the governor also has called on congressional leaders to enact federal investments in alternative energy technologies.

Michigan has created several incentives and programs to assist companies working in energy storage and batteries through the 21st Century Jobs Fund, MEGA tax credits and our Centers of Energy Excellence programs. The Legislature also recently passed legislation to incentivize large-scale manufacturing and research and development of lithium-ion battery cells and packs.

“The technologies produced and assembled by GM and A123 will position Michigan as the state that drives the nation in a new cleaner, greener direction,” said James C. Epolito, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “It’s estimated that we can create more than 60,000 new jobs by investing in alternative energy, including advanced battery storage, biofuels, and wind and solar energy.”

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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