President Barack Obama dedicated $2.4 billion in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to developing and manufacturing the next generation of batteries and electric vehicles in 2009. In support of this investment, Vice President Joe Biden said: "For our nation and our economy to recover, we must have a vision for what can be built here in the future – and then we need to invest in that vision. That’s what we’re doing today and that’s what this Recovery Act is about."
Despite the hesitation to get on board with building clean cars due to the big profits coming from SUVs, the Big Three automakers are now producing compacts and hybrids and are reporting profits.
According to Mother Nature Network, the Natural Resources Defense Council published a new report stating that 236,600 jobs were added to the auto industry since 2009. About 165,100 of those were in manufacturing, the rest in dealerships.
The investment in green auto technology is paying off. Michigan is seeing economic improvement from receiving many of the grants. Indiana has added auto jobs, too. The Greensburg plant produces the Honda Civic Hybrid. This plant alone accounts for a significant number of hires. Ohio's Honda plants are seeing significant increases in their hires and productivity, too.
"People in Ohio want clean air and clean water - and we can have both by bringing in clean car manufacturing jobs. And it’s happening, 11,300 auto jobs have come back to Ohio since the industry hit bottom," Frank Szollosi of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center told the news provider.
As consumers demand more efficient and eco-friendly vehicles, the demand is met with advances in technology, thus driving the auto industry. Consumers are also keeping up with scheduled maintenance to keep their cars around longer.