DOE’s $2.4 billion for electric-vehicle technology left small companies in the cold

The Department of Energy recently gave out $2.4 billion in grants for electric-vehicle and lithium-ion battery development. Analysts and investors are now saying that the DOE seems to be playing safe in its selection of 48 companies, picking big names and companies that plan to build plants in Michigan.

Four out of every five applicants for the U.S. Department of Energy’s $2.4 billion were rejected and didn’t make the lists. Critics are now arguing that the funding was aimed to advance battery technology and not just hand it to the old boys to put present generation technology into production and on our roads.

Start-ups like California-based Imara Corp, which claims to have a breakthrough in lithium-ion battery technology was ignored by the DOE.

General Motors Company received the lion’s share of the money with a total of $241 million. FoMoCo and Chrysler followed with $93 million and $862 million respectively. Another $862 million is going to a group of four battery companies, most of which have partnered with a Big Three company to produce lithium-ion batteries in Michigan.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Dow Jones (via Green Car Advisor)