The Division of Power’s Superior Know-how Automobiles Manufacturing program, which famously helped put Tesla on the map, is ready at hand out its first mortgage in over a decade. The division will announce a $2.5 billion mortgage to a three way partnership of Common Motors and LG Power Answer to assist fund the development of a brand new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility, the corporate confirmed. (The information was first reported by Reuters.)
The Superior Know-how Automobiles Manufacturing program, or ATVM has attained virtually legendary standing within the EV startup world because of its well timed $465 million mortgage to Tesla, which is credited with serving to save the corporate from an early demise. Since then, a quantity of cash-strapped EV startups have additionally requested loans however to no avail; this system has mainly been dormant since 2010.
The ATVM program was created by Congress beneath the administration of former President George W. Bush, allocating $25 billion “to offer low-cost debt capital for fuel-efficient automobile and eligible part manufacturing in the USA.”
Different recipients embrace Ford and Nissan, each of which acquired a lot bigger grants than Tesla. Ford obtained $5.9 billion to renovate factories throughout the nation and enhance its automobiles’ vitality effectivity, and Nissan was given $1.45 billion to help manufacturing of its Leaf electrical automotive. (Tesla and Nissan have each paid again their loans.)
Not all recipients are doing as properly. Like Tesla, Fisker Automotive was as soon as a promising producer of luxurious electrical vehicles. In 2010, the Division of Power granted it $529 million, however funding was frozen in 2011 after it failed to fulfill milestones. Since then, the corporate has filed for chapter, was later bought by a Chinese language auto components provider, and relaunched as Karma.
Notably, the ATVM program went darkish across the identical time that Republicans have been ramping up their criticism of former President Barack Obama and his administration for its dealing with of one other Division of Power mortgage to Solyndra, a clear vitality firm that later went bankrupt. Satirically, Tesla was as soon as derided as a “loser” by then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who in contrast the corporate to Solyndra. Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says he plans on voting for Republican candidates within the subsequent election.
However in ensuing years, Democrats have misplaced their trepidation over handing out government-backed loans to scrub vitality corporations. President Joe Biden secured $5 billion for electrical automobile charging as a part of his bipartisan infrastructure plan, a lot of which can be paid out in loans to EV charging corporations (together with Tesla). And whereas a lot of Biden’s local weather agenda stays stalled in Congress, the resurrection of the ATVM program is a pot of cash that’s nonetheless out there to the administration to fund a few of its priorities.
Unsurprisingly, GM is the recipient. Biden has lavished consideration on the automaker, praising its plans to develop its manufacturing footprint and even test-driving the GMC Hummer EV. (“One hell of a automobile,” Biden concluded.) GM fashioned the three way partnership Ultium Cells with South Korea’s LG Power Answer with the aim of constructing new services in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.
“These services will create greater than 5,000 new high-tech jobs in the USA,” a spokesperson for Ultium Cells mentioned in an announcement. “We’re grateful for the consideration and look ahead to working with the Division of Power on subsequent steps.”
“[Loan Program Office’s] conditional dedication to Ultium Cells is the most recent proof level of the Division’s ongoing efforts to assist construct a home provide chain to fulfill the rising demand for electrical automobiles,” Jigar Shah, director of the DOE Mortgage Applications Workplace, mentioned in an announcement. “These new manufacturing services will create hundreds of good-paying jobs throughout three states whereas enabling enhancements in present lithium-ion battery applied sciences.”