In August 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that $2.4 billion in stimulus package money would go to manufacturers of hybrid cars, batteries and electric drive technologies.
With the goal of reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and creating new jobs, 48 companies were slated to receive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in order to further the country's battery and hybrid technology.
President Obama's goal is to have one million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015, so he called the investment in these technologies essential to accelerating production. Advancements in these technologies will "allow manufacturers to meet increased fuel economy standards while reducing vehicular emissions of greenhouse gases," according to the Department of Energy.
Here's how it adds up: $1.5 billion goes to manufacturers to produce batteries and their components. Another $500 million goes to companies that produce electric drivetrain components for vehicles, including electric motors. Finally, $400 million in grants will be used to purchase thousands of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles for public test demonstrations [source: TreeHugger].
The recipients of these funds range from Detroit's Big Three automakers to smaller companies that make battery and electric motor parts. The 48 companies are located across the United States and were selected after an intense competition process. With the stimulus money, these companies are hoping to bring down the cost of producing green vehicles and put more of them in our driveways.
In this article, we'll look at how the stimulus package is being used to produce hybrid and electric cars and examine other grants for eco-friendly vehicles.