KEMET Corporation (KEME.OB) has been awarded a $15.1 million Department of Energy (DOE) grant to support the development of electric-drive vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Simpsonville, SC, KEMET is a leading manufacturer of tantalum, ceramic, film and electrolytic capacitors – all critical subcomponents in hybrid electric-drive systems. “Manufacturers of electric-drive vehicles currently are dependent on offshore-based suppliers for DC bus capacitors,” said Per Loof, KEMET’s CEO. “Increased production capacity in the United States will significantly reduce the supply-chain risks faced by hybrid-vehicle developers.”DOE grant will enable the Company to annually produce capacitors for up to 100,000 electric-drive vehicles at its Simpsonville facility. KEMET will be able to supply similar components for wind, tidal, geothermal and solar energy generation markets from the South Carolina facility as well. “Investment in domestic expertise and production capacity for capacitors is a strategically important step in positioning the United States as a clear-cut leader in this field,” Loof added. “The DOE grant will help the environment, improve U.S. competitiveness, create jobs and benefit our shareholders.” KEMET produces critical subcomponents for a number of the world’s major “tier one” automotive suppliers, including Bosch, Continental, Delphi, Lear, Magneti Marelli, TRW and Visteon.