WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement on today's groundbreaking of BASF's new production plant for advanced lithium-ion battery materials, funded in part through the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program.
"This groundbreaking is an illustration of how Recovery Act investments are creating jobs and building new industries here in the U.S. Today's announcement puts Elyria at the forefront of innovation in America's automotive industry. This region will stand as an example of America's economic competitiveness and our commitment to supporting a strong manufacturing industry," said Secretary Chu.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT
BASF Catalysts, LLC was awarded $24.6 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to establish a facility to produce 2,500 metric tons per year of nickel-cobalt-metal cathode materials, a critical component of lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. This investment will help to continue bringing down the cost of batteries while improving their safety, energy and power. The technology included in the batteries is licensed from the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, and when the plant is fully operational in 2012, it is expected to be the most advanced cathode materials production plant in North America. Improvements in the cost and efficiency of the lithium-ion batteries that are used in most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles will support the growing deployment of electric vehicles and help to reach President Obama's goal of having one million electric drive vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015. This project is one of 48 advanced battery and electric drive projects that were awarded $2.4 billion through the Vehicle Technologies Program under the Recovery Act.