Updated: Wednesday, 05 Aug 2009, 7:12 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 05 Aug 2009, 12:20 PM EDT
WAKARUSA, Ind. (WISH) - President Barack Obama came to Elkhart County Wednesday to award
grants designed to promote the manufacture of electric cars and
trucks. The biggest share of the money will come to Michigan and
The president made the announcement at a factory previously owned by a now-bankrupt recreational vehicle manufacturer in Wakarusa.
"To announce $2.4B in highly competitive grants to develop the
next generation of fuel efficient cars and trucks powered by the
next generation of battery technologies all made right here in the
U. S. of A," said President Obama.
The former Monaco Coach factory, now owned by Navistar, will build electric delivery trucks in the future with the help of a $39 million that comes from the federal stimulus package.
It one of several projects aimed at making the Elkhart area a center of new technology.
"We're building a trade school because part of growing the area is training the area," said Will Cashen, an entrepreneur.
The biggest share of more than $400 million in Indiana grants, however, will come to Indianapolis and the EnerDel Corporation. The Lithium Battery Manufacturer on the north side receives a grant of $118 million to advance its research aimed at creating an electric car.
The president also hopes to solve an unemployment problem. In Elkhart County the rate is over 16%.
"A brighter future for Elkhart, a brighter future for Indiana
and for the United States of America. That's what we're fightin'
for," said President Obama.
And, said the president, a reduced dependence on foreign oil.
Most of Barack Obama's speech was devoted to the economy and the effort to create jobs, but he did include a brief sales pitch for health care reform. The president promised that a health care bill will pass before the end of the year.