General Motors received more clean energy patents in the past year than any other company, a study released Friday said.
GM's 135 patents represented nearly 14 percent of the 1,881 US patents obtained by 700 organizations in 2010, according to an analysis by the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index.
The successful patent applications came as GM made major investments in research and development despite years of intense restructuring and a 2009 government-backed bankruptcy filing.
"US clean energy patents were at an all-time high in 2010," said Victor Cardona, co-chairman of the Cleantech Group at the Albany, New York law firm of Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, which specializes in intellectual property and published the index.
"GM has clearly put forth a lot of effort in a range of clean-energy technologies, resulting in its appearance at the top of the list for the first time."
Company officials said GM's patents covered hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cells and solar energy, with a focus on improvements to current and future technologies.
This comes on the heels of the news that the Big Three will add as many as 35,000 new jobs by 2015 - and nearly all of them are going to be in Michigan. We won't ever reach the total employment that we had before, but as these companies consolidate and streamline operations, the thought is they will center everything here. Yea, us.
Most of that hiring will be in Michigan, (Sean McAlinden, senior economist for the Center for Automotive Research) emphasized. By 2015, employment by the Detroit Three in Michigan should increase to about 137,000 from 101,936 in 2010 -- a gain of about 35,000 jobs. At the same time, he expects employment by the Detroit Three outside of Michigan to fall slightly.
He also expects that total automotive employment in Michigan, which includes non-Detroit Three jobs at suppliers and other major automakers, will increase to 166,400 by 2015 but will still fall far short of recent industry highs.
"Two of every three Big Three jobs in the United States will be located in Michigan" by 2015, McAlinden said.
Great news. Since the Snyder administration is all about cuts, cuts, cuts and has not said a word about diversifying our economy or creating new jobs - we are going to need all the help we can get out of autos. And yes, we probably are in danger of putting all our eggs in one basket again - but it sure beats the alternative.
Be sure and thank the President for saving our state and making all this possible. The comeback of the American auto industry has been quite a story, and it seems to keep getting better all the time.