Government Grants

$9 million in federal grants will soon be going toward Michigan advanced vehicle technology projects. The federal government is giving grant money to eight Michigan projects focused on developing advanced vehicle technologies, with a particular focus on better fuel efficiency, the office of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D – Mich.) announced Wednesday.

The government grants headed to Michigan companies and universities (list below) are part of $45 million in new funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, and are aimed at promoting the use of lighter materials, advanced batteries and other engineering to help improve fuel economy among domestic automakers and thus reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, Levin’s office said in a release.

“If we want to build the vehicles that will dominate the global marketplace in the decades to come, we must partner with American industry and researchers to push the envelope on automotive technologies,” Levin said in a statement. “These government grants will help secure the future for U.S. auto makers and auto workers in a world that increasingly values fuel efficiency and advanced technology.”

Three of the projects are funded by a joint, government grant-fueled, cost-sharing effort of the DOE and the U.S. Army known as the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance (AVPTA), which Levin helped create. The AVPTA aims to spur innovations in vehicle technology that can be applied to both commercial and military uses. The Army’s contribution to the partnership is overseen by the Warren-based Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Here’s the list of the federal government grants headed to Michigan:

  • University of Michigan, $600,000 government grant for research on temperature changes in advanced magnesium alloys
  • Ford Motor Co., $1.5 million government grant to develop new welding techniques and $350,000 to adapt new lubricants for use in vehicles (a joint Army-Department of Energy project)
  • General Motors, $1.3 million government grant to develop new methods of joining aluminum to high-strength steel
  • Chrysler Group, $587,248 government grant to develop techniques to join die-cast magnesium to aluminum and high-strength steel (joint Army-DoE project)
  • Michigan State University, $599,999 government grant to demonstrate bonding and repair of dissimilar materials using thermoplastic adhesives (joint Army-DoE project)
  • Delphi Automotive Systems, $1.7 million government grant for research to reduce energy use in cabin heating systems for electric vehicles
  • Halla Visteon Climate Control, a $2.3 million government grant to develop a heat-pump system for heating and cooling in vehicles

Wouldn’t it be great for this government grant money to jump-start Detroit to regain its status as a proud icon of American manufacturing innovation and quality?

(Adapted from an article written by David Muller for MLive Media Group in Detroit)