The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through its Loan Programs Office (LPO), has announced the closing of a $2.5 billion loan to Ultium Cells LLC to help finance the construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities 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. In October, President Biden launched the American Battery Materials Initiative alongside $2.8 billion in grants from the DOE to build out the battery mineral and material supply chain.
In July, the LPO announced a conditional commitment for the loan to Ultium Cells to manufacture large format, pouch-type cells that use a certain chemistry to deliver more range at less cost. Ultium Cells says it plans to use this technology in coordination with GM’s work to eliminate 100% of tailpipe emissions from its new U.S. light-duty vehicles by 2035. This also supports GM’s 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.
The announcement marks the LPO’s first closed loan exclusively for a battery cell manufacturing project under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program. Financing from the ATVM program complements the historic investments of the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law —$7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure and more than $7 billion for the critical minerals supply chains necessary for batteries, components, materials and recycling.
Across all LPO’s new and improved programs, the DOE says it has attracted 98 active applications for projects across the country totaling over $104 billion in requested loans and loan guarantees, as of the end of October.