Reuters is reporting that Chrysler Group has been awarded a $70 million grant from the federal government as part of American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009. The money will go Chrysler's facilities in Warren, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri, "to develop, validate, and deploy 220 advanced plug-in hybrid electric pickups and minivans."

Chrysler will also benefit from a $249 million grant awarded to A123 Systems. Chrysler established a strategic partnership with A123 Systems, a manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, to produce energy storage systems for the first-generation ENVI extended-range electric vehicles and all-electric vehicles.

The grants require matching funds from the recipients.

The awards were part of $2.4 billion in grants the Obama Administration is investing to make America more energy independent. One of the primary goals is to create a battery manufacturing base in the United States that will create "tens of thousands" of jobs, administration officials said.

"If we want to reduce our dependence on oil, put Americans back to work and reassert our manufacturing sector as one of the greatest in the world, we must produce the advanced, efficient vehicles of the future," the President said.