Decision to Back America’s Advanced Technology Battery Industry Means A Lot for the Auto Industry

The New York Times Magazine recently ran a long feature about the Obama administration’s decision to back America’s advanced technology battery industry with $2.5 billion in stimulus funding. The move is largely tied to job creation but it’s also a boon to the auto industry, which needs lithium-ion batteries for its current class of electric cars, and really needs them for its future class, given the country’s rising fuel-efficiency standards. But the piece also elicited a few interesting and intense responses from the urban planning and transportation community.

The New York Times Magazine recently ran a long feature about the Obama administration’s decision to back America’s advanced technology battery industry with $2.5 billion in stimulus funding. The move is largely tied to job creation but it’s also a boon to the auto industry, which kind of needs lithium-ion batteries for its current class of electric cars, and really needs them for its future class, given the country’s rising fuel-efficiency standards:

Still, the global automobile market is so large that even modest gains in market share could spark tremendous growth for battery-makers. “If you look at the year 2016, and you say, ‘Only 5 percent of the market is electrified?’ Well, that’s a $14 billion market for lithium-ion batteries,” [Jason] Forcier [head of an automotive division] says. “To hit 5 percent is a huge number of vehicles. And the business around making lithium-ion batteries for 5 percent of the world’s cars is a huge, huge business.” …

“It was a calculated risk — a lot of money, to be sure, but given the stakes, I think it was a pretty thoughtful bet,” says Ron Bloom, who recently served as an assistant to President Obama for manufacturing policy. “If vehicle electrification really does take off, as many, many people think it will, and we’re not part of it, then we could lose our leadership of the global automobile industry.” Which would be catastrophic. By some estimates, as much as 20 percent of all manufacturing jobs are directly or indirectly related to the automobile industry.

To learn more about the new battery and its effects on job creation and urban planning, check out the most recent post on Infrastructurist: http://www.infrastructurist.com/2011/09/02/is-a-car-battery-subsidy-just-a-sprawl-subsidy/

More on Electric Vehicles From The Green Living Guy

 

  • Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman
  • Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicleby Seth Leitman
  • Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel

 

 

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