On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of visiting East Penn Manufacturing Company, a third-generation family business with over 63 years in battery manufacturing.
My visit reminded me what makes this country great: It’s the ability to manufacture top-quality, innovative products that give American companies a competitive edge to help them grow and thrive.
That’s why I was honored to deliver the news to its employees that the Department of Energy is awarding $32.5 million to East Penn through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Obama Administration is going to help this company, and many others, play a key role in meeting our transportation and energy goals for the 21st century.
The announcement is part of a ground-breaking 2.4 billion-dollar effort to help U.S.-based manufacturers make and test thousands of hybrid and electric vehicles along with the batteries, chargers, and other components needed to operate them.
This is the single largest investment ever made in advanced battery technology projects for hybrid and electric-drive vehicles. It will help achieve the goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015.
It’s time for America to lead the world in clean technology manufacturing – the growth industry for the 21st Century.
To achieve this reality, we’re investing in both small, innovative companies in rural towns like Lyon Station, and large factories in Michigan and Indiana.
With the help of companies like East Penn, we will be able to build vehicles that achieve – and even exceed -- the new fuel-efficiency standard of 35.5 miles per gallon that we’ve set for cars and light trucks by 2016. This is an investment in the future of manufacturing, and the future of clean, green transportation in the United States.
The Department of Transportation is going to do its part too. We will develop new safety standards for the new generation of vehicles, paving the way for safe, effective plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Without question, this is a transformational moment for the transportation industry – and for the auto industry in particular. If we’re serious about tapping into clean, alternative sources of energy to power our cars, trucks, and other vehicles, then we’ve got to invest in the technology, the training, and the manufacturing base to make that happen.
Working together, we’re going to set the pace for America’s economic recovery and our environmental future. And we’re going to build the safe, efficient, and sustainable transportation systems that we all need and deserve.