DOE extends $2.5B loan to build 3 EV battery factories

Dive Brief:

  • Amid the federal government’s push for more electric vehicles, the Department of Energy announced last week that it is offering a $2.5 billion conditional loan to Ultium Cells, a joint venture between LG Energy Solutions and General Motors. The loan will help build new EV battery factories in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan. 
  • The three facilities are expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 5,100 operations jobs when they are at full capacity. The conditional loan was filed through the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program; if accepted, it would be the program’s first loan exclusively for a battery cell manufacturing project, according to the release.
  • The investment comes amid a groundswell of public and private interest in electric vehicles and battery infrastructure. The ATVM funding also complements $7.5 billion in funding for battery infrastructure from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Dive Insight:

General Motors plans to have the capacity to build 1 million electric vehicles in North America by the end of 2025. Construction of these three plants also supports the auto maker’s plan to make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040, according to the release.

The loan is not without strings attached. In order to qualify for the conditional loan through the ATVM, a company must build eligible vehicles or components that are used in eligible vehicles, build or re-equip new factories, be located in the United States and more, according to the program’s guidelines.

Eligible vehicles, according to the guidelines, must meet or exceed a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, and/or achieve a fuel efficiency of 75 miles per gallon or equivalent using alternative fuels.

As private interest in EVs accelerates, contractors are taking advantage of opportunities to build EV factories and infrastructure. Recently, AECOM was selected by the Arizona DOT to develop an EV charging station plan for drivers in the state. On the jobsite, electric vehicles are expanding past cars as heavy machinery is also seeing movement toward using more electric power.

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