DOE closes $2.5B loan deal to fund Ultium Cells construction of EV Battery plants in U.S.

Dec. 12, 2022
The three planned lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities will be in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan. GM plans to make the Ultium battery platform as the center of its electric vehicle rollout in coming years
The electric vehicle battery cells joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution has closed on a $2.5 billion federal loan to finance construction of manufacturing facilities in three states.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced approval of the construction loan to Ultium Cells LLC. The joint venture started out its initial production at GM’s former assembly operations hub city of Lordstown, Ohio.

The three planned lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities will be in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan. The projects are anticipated to create more than 6,000 jobs during construction and employ another 5,100 people once in operations.

“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.” 

Ultium Cells earlier this month announced an additional investment of $275 million in its Spring Hill, Tenn., manufacturing plant. The facility is expected to be completed and begin battery cell production in late 2023 (see rendering in main art)

See EnergyTech's complete coverage of the E-mobility acceleration in the C&I Energy Transition

Subscribe to our free, tri-weekly newsletter for more stories on EV moves, Renewables, Microgrids, CHP and more

GM plans to make the Ultium battery platform as the centerpiece of its electric vehicle rollout in coming years. The automaker and partner POSCO also are building a $400 million cathode active material production plant in Quebec.

Overall, GM launched its most recent major push into the EVs with the opening of Factory Zero, the Michigan assembly plant converted to e-mobility models.

“We’re playing the long game,” GM President Mark Reuss said from the Factory Zero floor in November 2021. “This factory goes way back (as a longtime assembly plant)…and now we’re launching our future out of it.”

The DOE Loan Programs Office loan is in support of Ultium Cells to manufacture what are called larger format, pouch-type cells which reportedly can deliver more range at less cost. The cells can be arranged and adapted to serve multiple types of EV models.

GM vows to eliminate tailpipe emissions from its new U.S. light-duty vehicles 100 percent by 2035, according to reports. Historic automaker rivals such as Ford, Daimler, Toyota and Nissan also are planning major EV moves in the U.S.

Transportation accounts for nearly 30 people of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. More than half of those transportation emissions come from light-duty vehicles, the EPA data notes.

-- -- --

(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]). 

Follow us on Twitter @EnergyTechNews and @rodwaltonelp and on LinkedIn

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.