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White House Touting Green Vehicle Technology This Week

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On: Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 5:27PM | By: Chris Weiss


White House Touting Green Vehicle Technology This Week

This week should prove to be a pivotal time for the green vehicle market, with a variety of high-profile public events and announcements taking place around the United States. President Obama and administration officials are making their way around the country to promote electric vehicle technologies. The officials will be visiting electric component plants in the east and midwest to attend grand openings and grant award events. At the same time,  the world's second richest man—Bill Gates—announced that he will invest in EcoMotors, a Michigan-based engine manufacturer that is committed to making more efficient engines.

Thursday, the Department of Energy will release a new report about the impact of governement grants on electric vehicle development. Among other things, the report will demonstrate how costs of developing batteries for electric vehicles will lower from $33,000 today to $16,000 by the end of 2013 and to $10,000 by the end of 2015.

Also on Thursday, a host of officials will be bolstering public attention to the administration's work in promoting the future of electric vehicles. President Obama will be in Holland, Michigan for the opening of the $303 million Compact Power lithium-ion battery plant, which received $151 million of federal money. The plant will employ 450 workers by 2013. On the same day, Ed Montgomery, executive director of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers, will be at GM's White Marsh, Maryland plant in recognition of a $105 million grant for electric drivetrain development, and Secretary of Labor Hillary Solis will be promoting a $49 million grant to battery manufacturer Celgard in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On Wednesday, HUD's Shaun Donovan will join New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for an event focusing on charging station technology. Another battery manufacturer, Indiana-based Delphi Automotive Systems, will host Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Friday, in relation to an $89 million grant.
Other events are scheduled in states including Pennsylvania and Vermont.
President Obama has made clean vehicles and energy a major tenet of his policy making, and has dedicated more than $2 billion worth of stimulus monies toward promoting new technologies and work within the field. He aims to put one million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015, and this week will serve as a major showcase for what the government and industry are doing toward that goal.
Another high-profile green-vehicle investor also made headlines today. Bill Gates will be investing money in EcoMotors International, a two-year-old Troy, Michigan start-up that is developing cleaner engine technology. Gates and another investor, Khosla Ventures, will invest a total of $23.5 million in the venture. The money will go toward finishing the company's Opoc engine, an engine that is supposed to offer similar output of a conventional gas engine while boosting fuel efficiency by 50 percent and cutting size, weight and cost.



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