Energy Department Closes $2.5 Billion Loan for Battery Cell Manufacturing

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Loan Programs Office, 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 to address the growing U.S. consumer demand for electric vehicles. The project is expected to create more than 11,000 good-paying jobs across the three facilities, including more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,700 operations jobs at the Lansing, Mich., facility. 

This loan boosts the nation’s standing as a global leader of EV manufacturing. In October, President Biden launched the American Battery Materials Initiative alongside $2.8 billion in grants from DOE to build out the battery mineral and material supply chain.

“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 M. Granholm. “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.”

This latest loan closing, which is part of LPO’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, will directly support Biden’s goals to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and having EVs make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030.  

In July, LPO announced a conditional commitment for the loan to Ultium Cells to manufacture large format, pouch-type cells that use a state-of-the-art nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum chemistry to deliver more range at less cost.

Those cells can be arranged in different combinations to provide clean, reliable energy for all vehicles on the road today, including cars, busses, and medium- and heavy-duty work trucks. Ultium Cells plans to use this technology in coordination with GM’s work to eliminate 100% of tailpipe emissions from its new light-duty vehicles by 2035.

This also supports GM’s plans to build one million EVs in North America by the end of 2025, along with making its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040.  

The announcement marks LPO’s first closed loan exclusively for a battery cell manufacturing project under the ATVM program. Financing from the ATVM program complements the 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.

Additionally, highlighting the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reinvigorating U.S. manufacturing, President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act makes critical investments and updates to the ATVM program by appropriating $3 billion for the costs of direct loans to remain available through September 30, 2028, and uses from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including expanded uses for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, maritime vessels, aviation, and other transportation modes.   

Prior ATVM loans have helped support Michigan’s auto industry. A $5.9 billion loan to Ford in 2009 supported the upgrade of facilities in Dearborn, Flat Rock, Livonia, Sterling Heights, Wayne, Ypsilanti. The loan was fully repaid in June 2022.