Ultium Cells closes on $2.5 billion DOE loan for three U.S. battery manufacturing plants

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Ultium Cells LLC is the recipient of a $2.5 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help the company build electric vehicle (EV) battery factories in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.

Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will manage battery cell production at the three facilities to address the growing U.S. consumer demand for EVs.

The company produces large format, pouch-type cells that use a nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum chemistry to deliver what the company says is more range at less cost. They can be arranged in different combinations of flexible modules and battery packs to to provide energy for a range of vehicles. 

DOE estimates the battery cells manufactured by these facilities could reduce gasoline use by 480 million gallons per year.

The project is expected to create approximately more than 11,000 good-paying jobs—6,000 in construction jobs and 5,100 in operations—across the three facilities, including more than 700 United Auto Worker jobs in the newly-organized Warren, Ohio facility.

This loan comes from the government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which has $17.7 billion in loan authority to support the manufacture of eligible light-duty vehicles and qualifying components, authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This loan closing will directly support the President’s goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and having EVs make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030.

“DOE is flooring the accelerator to build the electric vehicle supply chain here at home—and that starts with domestic battery manufacturing led by American workers and the unions that support them,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This loan will jumpstart the domestic battery cell production needed to reduce our reliance on other countries to meet increased demand and support President Biden’s goals of widespread EV adoption and cutting carbon pollution produced by gas-powered vehicles.”

As the battery maker is a joint venture between GM and LG, this technology will be used in GM’s light-duty vehicles, in which the company plans to eliminate 100% of tailpipe emissions by 2035. GM has plans to install capacity to produce more than one million EVs annually in North America and make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040.

Today’s announcement marks the DOE’s Loan Programs Office first closed loan exclusively for a battery cell manufacturing project under the program.

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