1.4bn grant for auto firms in US

The US Government has announced a grant of $2.4 billion (£1.4 billion) for developing next-generation electric vehicles and batteries.

Nearly 50 projects in 25 states will share the money, with Indiana and Michigan getting the largest chunk of it. It is also expected to create new jobs for people in the auto industry.

The cash will be offered to auto makers including Johnson Controls of Milwaukee, General Motors and Ford Motor.

The move was seen as a big leap by president Barack Obama's team to a future free from fossil fuels.

Vice president Joe Biden Biden, speaking outside NextEnergy in Detroit, said: "The ultimate success of electric cars relies on better batteries, better drive-trains, reducing carbon emissions, making alternative energy more available.

"If we fail to invest, virtually none of that market will be in the US. We have a tremendous opportunity here - right here in Detroit - to invest in our vehicle fleet, shifting toward electrification."

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