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President Barack Obama discusses battery technology with Amanda Spore, regional launch manager, Operations, Johnson Controls, during his visit to the company's facility in Holland, Mich.
President Obama praises advanced battery centerPresident Barack Obama’s tour of the new Johnson-Controls Meadowbrook advanced battery center in Holland, Mich. on Aug. 11, 2011, led to praise for the facility and Johnson Controls’ leadership in the advanced battery industry.
“At a time when Americans are rightly focused on our economy, when Americans are asking about what’s our path forward, all of you here at Johnson Controls are providing a powerful answer,” President Obama said to the crowd of nearly 400 dignitaries and Johnson Controls employees.
“This is one of the most advanced factories in the world. You’re helping America lead in a growing new industry. You’re showing us how we can come back from the worst recession that we’ve had in generations and start making things here in America that are sold all around the world.”
The new Meadowbrook facility will be the first in the United States to produce complete lithium-ion battery cells and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, producing battery systems for U.S. based automakers, such as Ford's Transit Connect.
Johnson Controls Chairman and CEO Steve Roell greeted President Obama upon his mid-afternoon arrival, as did Dennis Archer, Johnson Controls Board of Directors member and Chairman Emeritus, Dickinson Wright PLLC; Alex Molinaroli, president, Power Solutions; Jacqueline Strayer, vice president, Corporate Communications; and Mary Ann Wright, vice president, Global Technology and Innovation for Power Solutions. Elizabeth Rolinski, vice president, Operations, Advanced Battery, Johnson Controls Power Solutions, led President Obama on the tour of the facility.
In remarks made before the president spoke, Roell highlighted Johnson Controls’ commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency in each of the company's businesses. He noted Building Efficiency has saved customers more than $19 billion in energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 16 million metric tons in office buildings, hospitals, schools, universities, and local, state and federal buildings. He also pointed to Automotive Experience’s work to reduce CO2 emissions through the lightweighting of interior components and a growing use of sustainable materials.
Roell noted Power Solutions is at the forefront in providing fuel-efficient solutions for a full spectrum of vehicles from internal combustion engines to Start-Stop, hybrid and electric vehicles.
“Through innovation and investment in technology and people, Johnson Controls is a leader in the energy storage industry. We are investing more than $460 million in our advanced battery business for manufacturing and technical facilities here in Michigan and the U.S.,” Roell said.
The Meadowbrook facility, which was supported by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) matching grant and incentives from the state of Michigan, is a great example of a public-private partnership that uses innovation and technology to produce products that reduce fuel consumption and create jobs.
”We are grateful for the outstanding support we have received from the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Michigan and the city of Holland for their vision in building an advanced battery industry for vehicles in the U.S. and for the financial incentives they have provided,” Roell said.
Roell closed his remarks by thanking President Obama for his leadership on improving the energy efficiency of buildings and his support of the auto industry.
VIDEOView video of President Obama's visit of the Holland, Mich. facility. more