Could domestic battery production help the US auto industry to survive?
In keeping with some of the recent overtures of the current administration, Granholm talks of a brighter future for America’s auto industry in which Michigan-made electric vehicles will help break America’s dangerous addiction to foreign oil. She even goes as far as to talk openly about a “leaner, greener auto industry”, one which will be better for the American nation on security, economic and environmental fronts.
Her language is certainly thought provoking. It seems that Governor Granholm isn’t afraid to pull the punches. She writes:
“For automakers, replacing the 100-year-old internal-combustion engine with an electric powertrain is both revolutionary and daunting. In a world where economic Darwinism threatens slow adopters with extinction, the American automakers know that they can either lead this historic transformation or become history themselves.”
Strong stuff. And yet, so very true. And it needs to not only become talked about but enacted. Earlier this week, the man who helped bring about the birth and death of the EV1 left General motors, to cheers from most of the EV community. President Obama’s call to the industry to modernize and develop electric vehicles for America’s future echos the very soul of Plug In America’s campaign policies. Perhaps we are finally at a crossroads, choosing a new, exciting direction for the EV industry.
Back to Governor Granholm. She doesn’t simply ask for Detroit and Michigan to become the centre of the EV industry; she argues passionately for the cause. Stating that most batteries today are made in Asia she quite rightly points out that simply changing from oil based to battery based technologies is just changing foriegn oil for foreign-made batteries; something which does nothing for her country’s security. It is one thing to mine the raw materials in a country rich in them – but processing and building the batteries domestically could save billions – and help to give jobs to the large number of out-of-work Auto factory workers suffering from the lack of demand for new cars.
New technologies too, could have a place in Michigan. It seems that Governor Granholm has done her homework. She hints at a future where V2G technology could not only power our cars, but help solve future power distribution and storage problems.
With this kind of well-read enthusiasm in the office of governor, we can only hope that Governor Granholm can help talk the Auto Industry into working alongside the aministration to produce a cleaner, greener American Auto Industry. And perhaps those in holding offices of political repsonsibiltiy world-wide will sit up and listen to Governor Granholm’s lead.
Governonr Granholm’s article can be read in full at Newsweek’s site