Advances in battery technology have signaled a new pioneering spirit with jobs and investment to match.

Author:Kandler, Brian
Position::FEATURE
 
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Among industries that have capitalized on new technologies to grow their presence in Michigan, familiar faces are behind some of the largest success stories. While automotive manufacturing was pioneered here a century ago, advances in battery technology and the push toward plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles have signaled a new pioneering spirit with jobs and investment to match.

After introducing the Chevy Volt concept in 2007, General Motors has planned $700 million of investments in eight different facilities related to its production. This includes a new 33,000 square foot Global Battery Systems lab in Warren. Last spring, Ford announced $135 million of new investment divided between its Sterling Heights transaxle plant and its Ypsilanti battery plant, accompanied by 220 new jobs. These announcements have greater significance than the obvious shot in the arm they provide communities where the plants are located. They help establish the density of activity in the region for emerging electric vehicle technology. As investors and entrepreneurs look for...

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