As GM Authority reported back in February 2023, General Motors battery partner Microvast – a Texas-based battery manufacturer – was under intense scrutiny in regard to grant money due to the company’s significant business dealings in China. Now, it appears as though Microvast will not receive the $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing initiative.
According to a report from Reuters, the U.S. Energy Department has decided that it will not award Microvast a $200 million grant over concerns of the company’s alleged ties to China, and the potential threat to national security.
“These funds are intended to strengthen America’s battery production and supply chain, not to tighten China’s stranglehold on these supplies,” Republican lawmakers were quoted as saying. “[Microvast has Chinese ties that raised] serious concerns about the department’s ability to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars.”
It’s worth noting that as of the time of this writing, neither Microvast nor General Motors have provided any comment on this decision.
For reference, The General announced a collaborative effort with Microvast back in November 2022. This partnership was intended to encourage further development of innovative battery separator technologies for use in future GM electric vehicles. More specifically, the Detroit-based automaker would work with the Texas-based battery manufacturer to develop technologies that are expected to improve charging and battery life, as well as provide enhancements to safety.
Furthermore, this separator tech is intended to work with nearly all types of lithium-ion batteries, such as graphite, silicon, and lithium-metal anodes, along with nickel-rich, cobalt-free, lithium iron phosphate-type, and high-voltage cathodes. As of the time of this writing, it’s currently unclear how the partnership between the two companies will progress moving forward.