DOE and Saft America celebrated the September 16 grand opening of the company's advanced lithium-ion battery factory in Jacksonville, Florida. The batteries will power electric vehicles (EV). The factory, which is supported partly by DOE investments, is expected to produce 370 megawatt hours of battery power per year, enough to supply more than 37,000 electric-drive vehicles. Saft said the project has created or preserved an estimated 300 construction jobs.
Saft America Incorporated's Industrial Battery Group won a $95.5 million DOE grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 and provided an additional $95.5 million in cost share to build the new 235,000-square-foot battery factory. The facility is capable of manufacturing high quantities of lithium-ion cells, modules, and batteries. The project is part of the Recovery Act's $2 billion investments in battery and electric drive component manufacturing, supporting 20 battery and 10 component-manufacturing factories. At full scale, these investments will support factories with the capacity to supply more than 500,000 electric drive vehicles. These factories are helping build a domestic electric-drive vehicle industry, and by the end of 2012, it is estimated that the United States could produce 20% of the world's advanced vehicle batteries. These factories are also lowering costs and could cut the cost in half by 2013. See the DOE press release .