CLEVELAND - Ohio, where auto-industry layoffs have helped push unemployment to 10.2 percent, would get a boost in the electric-car business with government-backed lithium-ion battery materials production at a proposed plant in Elyria.

About half the project's cost would be covered with money from the $787 billion federal stimulus package, backers said Thursday.

"Hopefully it will put Ohio on the global lithium-ion battery industry map," said Prashant Chintawar, who is directing the project for chemical company BASF, which has landed a U.S. Department of Energy license to produce materials for lithium-ion batteries.

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