President Obama Announces Battery Manufacturing Grant Awards

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John Petersen

During his address today at Navistar International‘s (NAV) facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, President Obama announced a total of $2 billion in ARRA battery manufacturing grants and another $400 million in Recovery Act awards for transportation electrification. The complete list of grant recipients, most of whom are private companies, is available here. The recipients of $1.25 billion in the primary class of grants for cell and battery manufacturing facilities are as follows:

Johnson Controls JCI $299.2 Production of nickel-cobalt-metal battery cells and packs, as well as production of battery separators (by partner Entek) for hybrid and electric vehicles.
A123 Systems IPO pending $249.1 Manufacturing of nano-iron phosphate cathode powder and electrode coatings; fabrication of battery cells and modules; and assembly of complete battery pack systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Dow Kokam DOW $161.0 Production of manganese oxide cathode / graphite lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Compact Power Private (Sub. of LG Chem) $151.4 Production of lithium-ion polymer battery cells for the GM Volt using a manganese-based cathode material and a proprietary separator.
EnerDel HEV $118.5 Production of lithium-ion cells and packs for hybrid and electric vehicles. Primary lithium chemistries include: manganese spinel cathode and lithium titanate anode for high power applications, as well as manganese spinel cathode and amorphous carbon for high energy applications.
General Motors  ??? $105.9 Production of high-volume battery packs for the GM Volt. Cells will be from LG Chem, Ltd. and other cell providers to be named.
Saft America SGPEF.PK $95.5 Production of lithium-ion cells, modules, and battery packs for industrial and agricultural vehicles and defense application markets. Primary lithium chemistries include nickel-cobalt-metal and iron phosphate.
Exide Technologies with Axion Power XIDE
$34.3 Production of advanced lead-acid batteries, using lead-carbon electrodes for micro and mild hybrid applications.
East Penn Manufacturing Private $32.5 Production of the UltraBattery (lead-acid battery with a carbon supercapacitor combination) for micro and mild hybrid applications.

Additional awards to other publicly traded companies include:

Celgard/Polypore PPO $49.20 Production of polymer separator material for lithium-ion batteries.
Honeywell HON $27.30 Production of electrolyte salt (lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6)) for lithium-ion batteries.
BASF Catalysts BASFY.PK $24.60 Production of nickel-cobalt-metal cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.
FutureFuel FTFL.OB $12.60 Production of high-temperature graphitized precursor anode material for lithium-ion batteries.
General Motors ??? $105 Construction of U.S. manufacturing capabilities to produce the second-generation GM global rear-wheel electric drive system.
Delphi ??? $89.30 Expansion of manufacturing for existing electric drive power electronics components for both passenger and commercial vehicles.
Ford Motors F $62.70 Producing a Ford electric drive transaxle with integrated power electronics in an existing Ford transmission facility.
Magna E-Car Systems MGA $40 Increasing production capacity of advanced automotive electric drive system component manufacturing plants located in the U.S.
Kemet Corporation KEM $15.10 Production of DC bus capacitors including soft wound film and stacked film capacitors necessary for electric drive system power electronics.

On balance, I’d say my predictions from earlier today were not too far off the mark. I was particularly pleased (OK it was c
loser to “this is almost better than sex”) to see that Exide Technologies (XIDE) will receive a $34.3 million grant with Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) for the production of advanced batteries using Axion’s proprietary lead-carbon electrode technologies. While sharing of the grant funding will apparently have to be clarified during the contract negotiation phase, the boost to Axion’s future revenue and technical credibility will be substantial. I was also happy to see that East Penn will receive an additional $32.5 million for the production of advanced lead-carbon batteries based on the Ultrabattery technology developed by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

While these grants for advanced lead-carbon batteries pale in comparison to the huge amounts allocated to lithium-ion battery manufacturing, they show a clear recognition that the micro and mild hybrid markets will be very important over the next decade and go a long way toward confirming what I’ve been telling readers for months, that lead-carbon is a game changer for alternative energy storage.

I look forward to reading the press releases from the award recipients which will undoubtedly provide more detail.

ED NOTE: One more: UQM Technologies (UQM) gets $45M.

DISCLOSURE: Author is a former director Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) and holds a large long position in its stock. He also holds a small long position in Exide (XIDE).

John L. Petersen, Esq. is a U.S. lawyer based in Switzerland who works as a partner in the law firm of Fefer Petersen & Cie and represents North American, European and Asian clients, principally in the energy and alternative energy sectors. His international practice is limited to corporate securities and small company finance, where he focuses on guiding small growth-oriented companies through the corporate finance process, beginning with seed stage private placements, continuing through growth stage private financing and concluding with a reverse merger or public offering. Mr. Petersen is a 1979 graduate of the Notre Dame Law School and a 1976 graduate of Arizona State University. He was admitted to the Texas Bar Association in 1980 and licensed to practice as a CPA in 1981.

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