Bringing Back an Old Automotive Avenue

The greatest thing about human beings is that we know how to keep improving the landscape under one capacity or the other. This allows us to hit upon various different milestones along the way, but if we take a second and assess things in hindsight, we’ll realize how none of our milestones, so far, has been as important as technology. You see, the moment technology arrived on the scene; it placed an unprecedented set of skills at our disposal. Now, while these skills were a unique breed in their own right, we must acknowledge how they also allowed us to grow across literally each and every area on our spectrum. Such an expansive dynamic was always going to produce big results, and it did exactly that by turning us into a tech-driven society. However, even after we got to the stated point, the creation continued to scale up our ceiling. In fact, this very pattern is now set to take a different meaning on the back of one recent development around the EV block.

The Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, which is notably credited for bringing Tesla back from dead, is officially dispatching its first loan in well over a decade. According to certain reports, the department is giving a $2.5 billion loan to a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution, putting-forth a financial package that will go towards the construction of a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. Created by the Bush administration “to provide low-cost debt capital for fuel-efficient vehicle and eligible component manufacturing in the United States,” Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program has done a lot to improve the country’s automotive capabilities. Beyond Tesla, the program has given Ford a loan of $5.9 billion to renovate factories across the country and improve its vehicles’ energy efficiency, while also handing $1.45 billion to Nissan for facilitating production of its Leaf electric car.

Surely, the program went dormant after losing some money on a few loan packages, but it was back in the mix once President Biden secured $5 billion for electric vehicle charging as part of his wider bipartisan infrastructure plan.

“[Loan Program Office’s] conditional commitment to Ultium Cells (A General Motors’ venture) is the latest proof point of the Department’s ongoing efforts to help build a domestic supply chain to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles,” Jigar Shah, director of the DOE Loan Programs Office, said in a statement. “These new manufacturing facilities will create thousands of good-paying jobs across three states while enabling improvements in existing lithium-ion battery technologies.”

The idea for GM and LG Energy Solution, at the moment, is to use this cash injection to build manufacturing plants in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.


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