Energy Department plans to loan GM battery joint venture $2.5 billion

Riley Beggin
The Detroit News

Washington — The Department of Energy said Monday it plans to loan General Motors Co. and LG Energy Solution's joint venture $2.5 billion to build EV battery plants in Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

GM announced in January that it plans to invest nearly $7 billion in EV and battery production at four sites around Michigan, including a $2.5 billion battery cell plant through Utlium Cells LLC in Delta Township near Lansing.

It's the Energy Department's first loan for battery cell production under its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. GM also received $824.1 million in incentives for its EV and battery projects from the State of Michigan earlier this year.

"As electric cars and trucks continue to grow in popularity within the United States and around the world, we must seize the chance to make advanced batteries — the heart of this growing industry — right here at home," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm — a former Michigan governor — said in a statement. 

Monday's announcement represents a "conditional commitment," according to DOE, and "certain conditions" must be satisfied before the agency will issue the final loan. 

"We are grateful for the consideration and look forward to working with the Department of Energy on next steps," Ultium spokesperson Brooke Waid said via email.

GM and LG Energy Solution also are building battery cell manufacturing plants in Warren, Ohio, and Spring Hill, Tennessee, at a cost of $2 billion. The projects are expected to create 6,000 construction jobs and 5,100 operations jobs at full capacity, according to DOE estimates. 

General Motors is aiming to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and to make its global products and operations carbon-neutral by 2040. President Joe Biden also wants half of all new auto sales in the U.S. to be electrified by 2030.