Earlier this week, the Department of Energy announced the close of a $2.5 billion loan from its Loan Programs Office into a joint venture between GM and LG Energy to build battery plants in three U.S. states.
The new loan to Ultium Cells, a joint venture between the automaker and big chemical company to make lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage in the U.S., is the latest example of just how much money the government is spending to support economic growth.
Both GM and LG will be adding money to the pot for the construction of the new facilities in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.
According to the DOE, the new factories should create 11,000 jobs -- 6,000 construe action jobs and another 5,100 in operations across the three facilities. About 700 of those jobs will be United Auto Worker jobs in a Warren, Ohio facility that was recently unionized.
“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 Granholm, in a statement. “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.”
First announced in July, the Loan Program Office's check to Ultium Cells will hopefully boost production of a new type of battery cell that can reduce the cost and increase the storage capacity of new batteries.
These batteries are intended to provide energy for the next generation of electric vehicles. GM hopes that it will provide enough capacity to power the 1 million electric vehicles the company is aiming to put on North American roads by 2040.
“Investing in American production and Ohio workers is part of the work we are doing to put in place a new pro-American, pro-worker industrial policy,” said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. “This loan will support Ohio in taking another step to lead the country and the world in producing sustainable technology and electric vehicles that Americans will need and drive over the next century.”