President Barack Obama will travel to Michigan Thursday for the groundbreaking of a plant that will produce batteries for electric vehicles.
Obama will attend the event at the Compact Power Inc. factory in Holland, Mich. The subsidiary of LG Chem received $151 million from a stimulus program announced last August to open the $303 million plant, which is expected to produce lithium ion cells and employ about 450 people by 2013, the White House said.
Obama has pledged to bring 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles to U.S. roads by 2015, helped by $2.4 billion in federal grants to develop next-generation electric vehicles and batteries. The administration has said the stimulus funding could spur the production of 50,000 batteries a year for plug-in hybrids by 2011 and 500,000 batteries a year for the advanced vehicles by late 2014.
Michigan is the largest recipient of the electric battery grants and is expected to receive more than $1 billion, shared by 11 manufacturers and research facilities.
Most of the batteries are now manufactured in Asia and auto suppliers and manufacturers have sought ways to grow the battery industry in the United States.
Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed to this report.