Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm holds up legislation with former state rep. Steven Bieda, left, and James Epolito, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009.
On Wednesday, Michigan state Governor Jennifer Granholm (Democrat) signed a piece of legislation into law granting $335 million in tax credits to “advanced” battery developers. Specifically aimed at appealing towards technology companies capable of researching and developing the advanced lithium-ion battery packs used in most hybrid vehicles, Gov. Granholm hopes the healthy new tax incentive will help jumpstart (no pun intended) Michigan’s ailing manufacturing segment. Specifically, the new bill allows the Michigan Economic Growth Authority to provide funding/tax credits for the research, development and manufacturing of battery packs used in electric vehicles, vehicle engineering for battery integration, advanced automotive battery technology engineering, and construction of integrated battery cell manufacturing facilities.
Admittedly hoping to avoid a future counter-productive energy dependence on the current battery technology kings in Asia, Gov. Granholm has also approved federal funding for specific companies, including LG Chem whom GM announced this week would be supplying the battery packs needed to power the Chevy Volt, scheduled for release later this year. “The bill that I’m signing today is a bill that’s really going to put Michigan in the front of not just states, we hope other countries as well, with respect to next-generation battery technology, manufacturing and assembly,” Granholm explained in a press conference. “We’re very excited about putting such an aggressive incentive in place to be able to attract the jobs that are associated with the vehicles that you see here at the auto show.”
Source: Detroit Free Press
Image Cred: AP Photo by Carlos Osorio