The U.S. Energy Department announced that it intends to loan $2.5 billion to Ultium LLC, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, in order to help finance the construction of lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing plants.
The details of the plan were outlined in a report by Reuters. The loan would be allocated toward the Ultium Cells plants in Lordstown, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee and Lansing, Michigan. The money will be pulled from the government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program, which, interestingly, has not funded a new loan since 2010. While the deal hasn’t been closed quite yet, it is expected to become reality within the next few months. Previously, the ATVM loan program provided loans to Tesla, Ford and Nissan, some of which was applied toward battery cell manufacturing.
In a statement, Ultium LLC stated that its facilities will create more than 5,000 new “high-tech jobs” in the United States. “We are grateful for the consideration and look forward to working with the Department of Energy on next steps,” Ultium said.
Earlier this year, GM and LG announced that they would invest $7 billion into the joint venture, drawing reactions from the White House and the UAW. The Lordstown battery plant currently employs 700 workers, and the facility expects to begin production next month. Meanwhile, the Spring Hill battery plant will commence production in late 2023, followed by the start of manufacturing at the Lansing battery plant in 2024.
Just last month, the final steel beam of the Spring Hill battery plant was placed. The steel structure was placed in just six months, and hiring for the new plant is currently under way. It’s worth noting that the battery plant is a separate facility from the GM Spring Hill plant, where the Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover is produced.