Big Three gets $1.3 billion in federal grants for electric-vehicle development

Detroit is going to be seeing electric vehicle development in a big way. Over $1.3 billion of the $2.4 billion in federal grants available to support the next generation of batteries and electric vehicles, will be going to the Big Three automakers.

GM is to receive the lion’s share of the money; approximately $241 million, $106 million of which is earmarked for its planned battery pack assembly factory. Ford is set to get almost $93 million while Chrysler is receiving the smallest portion, $70 million to be used for plug-in pickups and minivans. Another $862 million is going to a group of four battery companies, most of which have partnered with a Big Three automaker, to build batteries inside the U.S.

According to Doug Parks, senior vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., 6,800 jobs are expected to open immediately as a result of the grants, and the new sector could employ as many as 40,000 by the year 2020. Vice President Joe Biden said that the battery and electric vehicle industry could be a $20 billion one by that time.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Detroit News