SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is in the Bay Area Thursday and planned to tour an electric vehicle company. It’s an industry that has really benefited from the auto-bailout and the stimulus package because a big chunk of that money went to making batteries for electric cars.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s visit to Mission Motors in San Francisco comes the same week that President Barack Obama touted the strong return of the nation’s auto industry. His comments came during a tour of the Washington Auto Show, as he viewed more than a dozen new electric and hybrid cars, unveiled with the help of the auto-bailout and the stimulus package.

“There was about $2.4 billion in grants, and currently we’re in the process of building about 30 factories in the US – Many of them in Michigan, to produce batteries and their parts for electric vehicles,” said Michael Grabell, author of “Money Well Spent?…The Truth Behind the Trillion Dollar Stimulus and the Biggest Economic Recovery in History.”

KCBS’ Susan Leigh Taylor Reports:

He said that he talked to four or five of the manufacturers involved, and all said that were it not for the stimulus money, they would have gone overseas. That means that jobs were created as well.

Despite the $2.4 billion investment, we’re still not the world’s top battery maker.

“Korea has made a promise to invest five times that over the next decade, and China has also announced a much larger investment,” said Grabell.

But the biggest question remains: Will the demand for electric cars and their batteries be there?

“The results so far have been lackluster, or less than expected,” said Grabell.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (3)
  1. Terry says:

    Those “zero emissions” electric cars are in reality powered by coal and nuclear power plants. They are among the dirtiest vehicles to manufacture and to recycle (lithium in batteries is extremely toxic).
    Besides, if you and 6 other neighbors on the block charge at the same time, the power on the block will go out.

  2. Jenna says:

    How many days and how many recharges and hotel nights would it take to drive from SF to LA?
    Electric cars are toys IMO

  3. Bobby says:

    Once the battery pack wears out the cost of replacement will exceed the value of the car. These “cars” have no resale value on used car market. Even dealers refuse to accept Chevy Volt because it’s a disposable product with no value.

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