President Obama is set to unveil $2.4 billion in taxpayer grants to developers of electric car batteries and parts this morning during a stop in Wakarusa, Indiana.
The president hopes the money will help develop a domestic electric vehicle industry that will create tens of thousands of jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on oil. The U.S. is currently dependent on foreign companies to supply the batteries needed to produce hybrid and electric vehicles domestically.
The stop in hard-hit Elkhart County, Indiana, aims to increase American confidence in the Obama administration’s efforts to stabilize the economy. Elkhart County has become a symbol of the recession, with an economy highly dependent on the struggling recreational vehicle manufacturing industry and a sky-high unemployment rate.
Indiana and Michigan will receive the bulk of the grant money, which is part of the $787 billion stimulus plan, but the recipients have not been named. Applicants included Johnson Controls Inc., A123 Systems Inc. and Ener1 Inc.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama will “talk about what we’re seeing more broadly in the economy and some innovative ways that we can address creating jobs over the long term. You see the degree to which the economy has slid in only a very short period of time, and I think that’s what the president will focus on.”
Air Force One is scheduled to land in South Bend, Indiana at 11:10 a.m. for the invitation-only event, and depart about 1:20 p.m. Stay tuned to MNN for the latest developments on this story.