Grumbling about battery grants

After the outpouring of angst in the past few days about US standing in the clean tech “race”, you’d think $2.4bn of government money for electric vehicle batteries would be a fairly unabated cause for celebration.

But no. Companies that missed out on government money complained that electoral boundaries played into the allocations, favouring states such as Michigan.

Meanwhile Greensheet’s headline screams: New Battery Stimulus Spending Is Another GM Bailout, and the story points out that $392.8m is going to GM, while Ford and Chrysler receive $40m and $70m respectively.

And not all of that GM money goes solely on batteries too – a good chunk of it is for testing GM’s mass-market electric car the Volt.

Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky there hasn’t been an outcry about some of the money going foreign partners of US companies. After all, $151.4m of the GM money is going to LG Chem, which produces batteries for the Volt, GM’s mass market electric vehicle. And almost $100m is going to Electric Transport Engineering Corp to introduce thousands of charging stations in five regions, specifically, it seems for Nissan’s Leaf.

Then again, the money is being spent locally. Portland’s mayor, whose city is in one of the Leaf charging zones, is certainly rather chuffed about the funding.

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