Exide Technologies, a Milton, Ga.-based lead-acid battery manufacturer, has won a $34.3 million federal grant that will allow the company to add up to 200 jobs at its Columbus facility.
The grant stems from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is providing $2.4 billion in funds for new advanced battery and electric drive projects.
Exide will use the money to domestically produce lead-acid batteries for micro-hybrid vehicles and idle reduction commercial vehicles using advanced carbon technology. Company officials said they think the investment will create production capacity of about 1.5 million batteries and add 320 jobs — about 120 at its transportation manufacturing facility in Bristol, Tenn., and 200 at its Columbus operation.
Locally, Exide will churn out advanced AGM flat plate batteries at its Joy Road location. Plans are also in the works to expand that facility to make room for the new manufacturing line.
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Officials said these new batteries should make cars more energy efficient — and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
“Despite the current economic situation, we believe this area of investment can be expected to yield significant benefits including job creation, energy savings and an association with both advanced technology and environmental sustainability,” Gordon, Ulsh, Exide president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
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