GM’s battery joint venture expected to win $2.5 billion U.S. Energy Department loan

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Energy Department on Monday plans to announce it intends to loan a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution $2.5 billion to help finance construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plants, officials told Reuters.

The conditional commitment for the loan to Ultium Cells LLC for facilities in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan is expected to close in the coming months and comes from the government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, which has not funded a new loan since 2010.

The program previously provided loans to Tesla Inc., Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

This would be the Energy Department’s first loan for a battery cell manufacturing project under the vehicle program.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of 50 percent of U.S. auto production by 2030 being electric or plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

“We have to have vehicle manufacturing capacity but also battery manufacturing capacity,” said Jigar Shah, who directs the Energy Department loan program office, in a Reuters interview. “This project provides one of the newest additions to battery manufacturing scale in this country.”

Ultium said in a statement the “facilities will create more than 5,000 new high-tech jobs in the United States. We are grateful for the consideration and look forward to working with the Department of Energy on next steps.”

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