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National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture

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Guest LAW_*

National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture purpose is manufacturing advanced lithium ion battery cells for future electric cars and military vehicles. Currently, U.S. automakers rely on foreign suppliers for the battery packs used in hybrid and electric vehicles. The Alliance predicts that lithium ion batteries will eventually replace gasoline as the main source of energy in future vehicles.


The group will jointly develop manufacturing and prototype development centers that will ultimately manufacture advanced battery cells. The investment required will be $1- to 2 billion over five years, and is expected to come mainly from the federal government. The Alliance will ensure the most effective use of government resources by allowing members to share in the use of a large ultra-modern manufacturing facility.


The founding members of the Alliance include 3M, ActaCell, All Cell Technologies, Altair Nanotechnologies, Dontech Global, EaglePicher Corporation, EnerSys, Envia Systems, FMC, MicroSun Technologies, Mobius Power, SiLyte, Superior Graphite, and Townsend Advanced Energy. Additional battery developers and materials suppliers are anticipated to join.


The Alliance seeks to develop one or more manufacturing and prototype development centers in the United States, which will be shared by Alliance members. The Alliance will be a public-private partnership, with funding support expected from both the government and the private sector.


Lithium ion battery cell manufacture is heavily subsidized in many countries. Says Ralph Brodd, a longtime consultant to battery manufacturers, Other countries are investing heavily in the manufacture of lithium ion cells. Those countries understand that whoever makes the batteries will one day make the cars.


The Alliance hopes to level the playing field.


Domestic automakers and Department of Defense representatives will be invited to serve on the Alliance's advisory board. The advisory board will assist the cell makers in aspects of standardized that will streamline manufacture and ultimately lower the costs of cells.

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Guest Jill Midkiff

The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Batteries (NAATBatt) has chosen Hardin County’s Glendale as the home for a potential investment in excess of $600 million to develop the first-of-its-kind manufacturing facility for lithium-ion battery cells. Kentucky was selected over Texas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.


NAATBatt is a not-for-profit industry consortium of more than 50 corporations, associations and research institutions dedicated to making the United States a world leader in the manufacture of advanced lithium-ion or Li-Ion battery cells for transportation applications.


“This proposal will put Kentucky in a prime position to be the country’s leading manufacturer of the clean-energy cars of the future,” Gov. Beshear said Monday in announcing the proposal. “Kentucky’s strong roots in the automotive industry, as well as its close proximity to suppliers, manufacturers and researchers, make it a natural fit for production of the next generation of hybrid technology batteries.”


The 1,551-acre Glendale site, which sits adjacent to Interstate 65 and the CSX rail line, runs along what is commonly called “Auto Alley” and will be submitted as part of NAATBatt’s application to the U.S. Department of Energy.


Under the federal stimulus plan, the Obama administration has set aside $2 billion for electric drive vehicle battery and component manufacturing projects. President Obama has specifically noted the importance of developing lithium-ion batteries to ensure that the United States plays a central role in producing the next generation of clean technology automobiles.


If successful in securing federal funding, NAATBatt would establish a manufacturing campus in Glendale, which would consist of a headquarters facility, a manufacturing facility used to refine products and production processes, and a larger operation designed for mass battery manufacturing. Total square footage of the campus is expected to reach 1 million square feet.


This one-of-a-kind manufacturing operation could create as many as 2,000 new full-time jobs with an average annual wage exceeding $40,000, and represent a capital investment in excess of $600 million in Kentucky. An estimated additional 1,500 construction-related jobs would also be created for a period of 12 to 18 months.


“Hardin County is extremely excited to have NAATBatt choose to locate their facility in our community,” said Greg Jenkins, chairman of the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Industrial Foundation. “To be involved in this cutting edge, renewable energy project is a great opportunity for us and the jobs created for our citizens are most welcome during these challenging economic times.”


NAATBatt plans to develop a large scale “flexible manufacturing” facility that will contract to manufacture Li-Ion battery cells of various chemistries, formats and designs for multiple battery companies.


NAATBatt will provide U.S. cell manufacturers of all sizes and stages of development with access to a national resource, which they may use to enter the Li-Ion market.


Production lines in both manufacturing facilities would house state-of-the-art equipment with flexibility to pursue multiple production ideas and products at one time. Alliance members would have the ability to run trials to demonstrate and validate their own technology on a cost-share basis with the rest of the alliance.


“Over the last few months, the leadership in the state under Gov. Beshear, Sec. Hayes and Sec. Peters has articulated a clear vision to establish Kentucky as the center for advanced battery technology for enabling electrification of the nation’s transportation,” said Sanford Kane, NAATBatt treasurer. “The announcement last week of the partnership between Kentucky and Argonne National Lab that will initially focus on lithium-ion battery manufacturing research and development is proof that the vision is starting to be realized. NAATBatt will continue the realization of this vision with the funding it will seek from DOE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.”


Many experts believe that lithium-ion batteries will replace gasoline as a major source of energy in future cars and military vehicles. Today, United States automobile manufacturers and defense contractors depend upon foreign suppliers—increasingly concentrated in Asia—for lithium-ion battery cells.


Last week, Gov. Beshear announced the formation of a new national Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center in central Kentucky to help develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications.


The national center is a partnership with the Commonwealth, Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.


Chicago-based Argonne was instrumental in the formation of the alliance, which began with 14 founding members and has grown to more than 50 members today.


The alliance is modeled after Sematech, which was formed by U.S. computer-chip companies in 1987 to compete with the Japanese. Sematech, now based in Austin, Texas, is credited with helping U.S. companies regain their footing by focusing on manufacturing and design advancements with funding from the federal government.


“We think Sematech was one of the best examples of collaborative intervention in an industry,” said Jim Greenberger, one of the founding members of the alliance.


“Today’s development is further evidence of the strong momentum we’re building here in Kentucky as we position ourselves to be a leader in this national initiative,” Gov. Beshear said. “There is a tremendous opportunity to make Kentucky the battery technology capital of the U.S., bringing an infusion of ‘green’ technology jobs to the state. I plan to pursue every avenue to seize this opportunity.”


In a statement, Sen. Mitch McConnell said of the NAATBatt announcement, “Today’s announcement is a major victory for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I am excited that the people of Hardin County will be taking the lead in developing and promoting new energy technologies which will allow the citizens of Kentucky to play a key role in accelerating America’s independence on foreign sources of oil.”


NAATBatt must submit its application to the DOE by May 19, 2009, and anticipates a decision on awards to be made this summer. If successful in securing the required funding, the Kentucky facility could begin construction immediately.

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The United States better move fast. Other countries are not going quit the race. Japan is already breaking ground on their lithium-ion battery research facility. They also have the powertrain technology as well. I hope 2 Trillion is enough.


KYOTO, Japan, April 21, 2009 - Blue Energy Co., Ltd., a new joint venture company between GS Yuasa and Honda for the manufacturing, sales and R&D of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles, held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of its Osadano Plant in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto.


The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by approximately 100 dignitaries and guests, including Keiji Yamada, the governor of Kyoto prefecture and Masaji Matsuyama, the mayor of Fukuchiyama city, as well as Makoto Yoda, president and CEO of GS Yuasa Corporation, Takeo Fukui, president and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Masahiko Oshitani, president and CEO of Blue Energy Co., Ltd.


The new plant is scheduled to begin production sometime around fall 2010.


About Blue Energy Co., Ltd. Establishment April 1, 2009

Headquarters 1, Inobanba-cho, Nishinosho, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto

Capital 3 billion yen

Future capital increase to 15 billion yen is planned.

Capital Ratio 51% GS Yuasa Power Supply Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of GS Yuasa Corporation)

49% Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Description of business Manufacturing, sales and R&D of high-performance lithium-ion batteries

President and CEO Masahiko Oshitani



About the new Osadano Plant Location 1-37 Osadano-cho, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto

(within the property of GS Yuasa's Osadano operation)

Lot Size 16,000m2

Investment amount Approximately 25 billion yen



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