In October this year, President Biden launched the so-called American Battery Materials Initiative, which aims to make the United States a global leader in electric vehicle manufacturing. As part of this initiative, the Department of Energy (DOE), through its Office of Loan Programs (LPO), today announced a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution that will manufacture battery cells. Thanks to the new loan, the company will open three new factories in the country creating more than 11,000 jobs.
The financing will go directly to the construction of three new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plants in Ohio and Michigan. DOE estimates that a total of 6,000 new workers will be needed for the construction process alone and another 5,100 for factory operations with more than 11,000 positions being “high paying jobs”. The loan supports the President’s long-term goal of making electric vehicles at least half of all new vehicle sales by the end of the decade.
“The DOE is installing an accelerator to build an electric vehicle supply chain right here at home – and that starts with domestic battery manufacturing led by American workers and the unions that support them,” commented US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm. “This loan will kick-start domestic production of battery cells needed to reduce our dependence on other countries to meet growing demand and support President Biden’s goal of widespread EV adoption and reducing the carbon pollution created by gas-powered vehicles.”
Ultium Cells LLC’s goal is to start manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles on a large scale and support GM’s plan to offer only emission-free vehicles in the United States starting in 2035. By the end of the next decade, the American automaker wants to be completely carbon neutral in all the operation.
Recently, General Motors, through GM Defense’s military products division, was commissioned by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to develop a battery prototype platform for testing and analysis by the Department of Defense. The platform will be based on GM’s Ultium architecture, which is one of the most advanced available in the automotive industry and its EV sector. Prior to this move, the US Army commissioned GM Defense to supply the military with the GMC Hummer EV in July this year.