Manufacturing institute in Canton good news for Michigan, and for EVs

In some very good news for our state and region, the White House announced late last month that a consortium of Michigan businesses, universities and other organizations has won a $140-million competition to become one of the first three manufacturing innovation institutes in the nation.

“The federal government will invest $70 million in the U.S. Department of Defense-led Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation Institute to be headquartered in Canton, with at least another $70 million in matching money to come from private or other public sources,” according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. “By bringing the institute’s home base to metro Detroit, it continues the area’s standing as a pre-eminent area for American manufacturing.”

President Barack Obama opened the competition for the manufacturing institutes last year, with a $200-million total federal commitment, to bring together applied research, training and product development for new manufacturing opportunities in key technological areas.

While it’s not strictly related to electric vehicle development, reducing the weight of cars is certainly a complementary advanced technology for achieving fuel savings--but more important, it’s a critical enabler and cost-saving for EVs because it reduces the amount of battery power needed to operate them.