Stabenow Unveils Major Initiative to Boost Michigans Advanced Battery Industry
Senator Debbie Stabenow unveiled a major new initiative that she authored to expand Michigan's advanced battery industry and create new clean energy jobs. Stabenow unveiled her new legislation, the Battery Innovation Act, at several clean energy manufacturing facilities throughout Michigan. Stabenow's Battery Innovation Act is the first comprehensive plan offering Michigan companies the support they need to expand advanced battery production and job growth and ensure that America wins the race in the development of new advanced energy technologies.
Senator Stabenow said: "When we make things here in Michigan, we create jobs here in Michigan. That is exactly what is happening in Michigan with the emerging advanced battery industry and new clean energy jobs that are being created at companies across our state. This new innovation initiative will create the conditions to ensure our high-tech companies can continue to expand and Michigan can lead the world in advanced battery production and job creation for years to come. We cannot afford to lose the race to build the clean energy technologies of the future to other countries."
P.J. Thompson, President of Trans-Matic in Holland, MI said: "Trans-Matic is proud to be a partner with so many other companies to build the advanced battery sector, and Senator Debbie Stabenow's plan will give all of us in the industry the tools we need to succeed in today's economy. Trans-Matic is excited to be on the frontlines of this new frontier in energy, innovation and manufacturing. Senator Stabenow's plan can help us achieve our goals and drive the advanced battery industry forward."
Randy Thelan, President of Lakeshore Advantage said: "The advanced energy storage industry is bringing new technology, innovation and opportunities to Michigan's SmartCoast. We are proud here in West Michigan to be a part of this growing and important new industry, which is critical to our country's goals to grow jobs, increase energy independence, and protect the environment. We greatly appreciate Senator Stabenow's leadership and support for the advanced battery industry, businesses and the people who work in it."
Matt Rogers, Chairman of the Board at Rogers Foam in Flint, MI said: "Senator Debbie Stabenow's proposal to boost our nation's advanced battery industry will provide a much-needed shot in the arm for Michigan's entire auto sector and the tens of thousands of people it employs. Other countries are investing heavily to grow their advanced auto and battery industries, creating jobs in China and India. Michigan cannot afford to be left behind, and these new resources for our homegrown auto industry can help move Michigan forward."
Stacy Brown, Rogers Foam Volt team leader said: "When my children grew up and graduated, I decided it was time for a new beginning and went from being a house wife to entering the workforce. Shortly after, I began working at Roger's Foam, where I worked on the Volt project which was something brilliant and new. Now I am extremely proud to have been chosen to be the Volt team leader where I train and lead each new employee that comes to the Volt project."
Jason Forcier, Vice President of A123's Automotive Solutions Group said: "A123 Systems is seeing the strong positive impact that advanced batteries are having in Michigan, from increased demand to growing output for more jobs. The battery systems being produced in our Livonia facility are already serving programs from passenger vehicles to commercial delivery trucks and we are exporting systems to Europe and Asia. The demand has spurred us to grow to more than 1000 employees in Michigan alone."
Satish Udpa, Dean of MSU's College of Engineering said: "Advanced energy storage technology is one of our top priorities here at Michigan State University. The work being carried out by our researchers holds great potential for furthering clean energy initiatives throughout the state and across the nation."
Harold Schock, MSU Professor of Mechanical Engineering said: "Hybrid vehicles represent a great opportunity for saving energy, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and providing jobs for highly skilled students. The development of new battery technologies for advanced hybrid powertrains is essential for both civilian and military applications. We are grateful that Senator Stabenow supports the innovations that will enable the next generation of transportation systems to be designed and manufactured here in Michigan."
The Battery Innovation Act is the first coordinated plan that incorporates all aspects of advanced battery production, from research and development, to the availability of raw materials, to the manufacturing of these high-tech products. The Act will build off of initiatives authored by Senator Stabenow in 2009, which made Michigan the battery capital of the world. Stabenow's plan will help companies expand advanced battery component manufacturing here in Michigan.
The Battery Innovation Act will boost the research and development of advanced batteries and components. The legislation creates an Energy Innovation Hub for advanced batteries, which will bring together universities, businesses and nonprofits to develop new battery technologies and make improvements to current technology. This will not only spur the development of more fuel-efficient passenger vehicles but for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles for our military as well. Stabenow's bill also creates a competition that will provide incentives for researchers to help develop an advanced vehicle battery that can go 500 miles on a single charge.
Finally Stabenow's plan will spur the domestic supply of lithium, the basic raw material used in advanced battery production, by providing incentives to businesses, consortiums, and local governments working on enhancing lithium development. Right now, America is losing the race to other countries around the world in lithium development, which is critical to advanced battery production in Michigan and across the country.
Businesses and organizations endorsing Senator Stabenow's Battery Innovation Act include: A123 Systems, Chrysler, Dow Chemical, Dow Kokam, Ford, GM, Johnson Controls, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Blue Green Alliance, Hybrid Truck Users Forum Stakeholders, Hybrid Truck Action Group, and the United Auto Workers.