Granholm Says Michigan Positioned to Become Advanced Battery Capital of the World

Contact: Megan Brown 517-335-6397

August 14, 2008

LANSING - At the world's most significant annual gathering of automotive industry leaders, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that Michigan is positioned to become the advanced battery capital of the world.

"Advanced battery development and production is critical for the U.S., and our intention is that Michigan be the leader in meeting this need," Granholm said.  "By leveraging our state's abundant talent in automotive research and development and manufacturing and by working the most aggressive economic plan of any state in the country, we will be the state that transforms the way we fuel our cars and power our homes."

Granholm made her remarks at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City where top officials from global automakers and suppliers are meeting this week.  Granholm underscored Michigan's unique position to be the state that ends the nation's dependence on foreign oil through innovations like advanced battery technologies.

Granholm said her administration is working hard to make Michigan the epicenter for that transformation.  She outlined recently created incentives and programs to support the growth of cutting-edge Michigan companies developing advanced battery technology, including the 21st Century Jobs Fund, alternative energy and high-tech tax credits, Anchor Zone incentives, and Centers of Energy Excellence.

For example, high-tech MEGA tax credits are helping companies like Ricardo Engineering that is expanding its Van Buren Township research and development (R&D) center to establish a battery systems development center, and Sakti3 that is commercializing a manufacturing process for the development of high-power batteries that will withstand the rigors of automotive use. 

The governor also pointed to several unique public/private partnerships helping to accelerate advanced battery R&D and production in Michigan.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation partnered with General Motors (GM) in its recent successful award of $10 million from the Department of Energy to develop a production-intent plug-in hybrid vehicle (PIHV) using advanced lithium-ion battery packs.  The Michigan Public Service Commission, through its plug-in hybrid pilot proposal, recently awarded over $5 million to DTE Energy, GM, and the University of Michigan to assess the environmental impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and to understand how the widespread adoption of PHEVs will impact Michigan's electric grid.

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