It was an impressive day yesterday in Livonia as the brand new A123 Systems plant opened.
A123 Systems opened it’s new lithium-ion battery plant in Livonia yesterday with great fanfare. It’s a 291-thousand square foot facility on 7 Mile Road that once housed a video production company.
President Barack Obama called the plant to congratulate them on their work and Governor Jennifer Granholm put his call over the building’s PA system.
Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin were on hand for the grand opening along with Congressmen Sander Levin and John Dingle. And U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu was also there for the festivities.
A123 says this battery plant is the biggest one of its kind in North America and they will provide batteries for Fisker Automotive, a small California car company that is building a new battery powered car called the Karma.
The U.S. Department of Energy helped kick-start this project with a $249 million dollar grant as part of the federal stimulus program. The State of Michigan also sweetened the deal to the tune of another $125 million dollars worth of incentives.
It’s no secret that Governor Granholm hopes that Michigan will become the hot spot in the nation for making high tech batteries for cars. But some question whether there might be overkill until the new battery cars appear in greater numbers and prove themselves worthy to drivers.