The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) is making a conditional commitment to Ultium Cells LLC for a $2.5 billion loan to help finance construction of new lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.
The conditional commitment is being made through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, which provides loans to support U.S. manufacturing of light-duty vehicles, qualifying components, and materials that improve fuel economy. This would be LPO’s first loan exclusively for a battery cell manufacturing project under ATVM.
By manufacturing Li-ion battery cells for EV battery packs in the United States, Ultium Cells will supply GM. The automaker said it plans to install capacity to build one million EVs in North America by the end of 2025. Construction of these three plants also is intended to support GM’s plan to make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040.
The cells manufactured by Ultium Cells LLC are large format, pouch-type cells that use a nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) chemistry to deliver more range at less cost. The cells can be arranged in different combinations of flexible modules and battery packs.
While this conditional commitment demonstrates DOE’s intent to finance the project, several steps remain, and certain conditions must be satisfied before the Department issues a final loan.
LPO has $17.7 billion in loan authority to support the manufacture of eligible light-duty vehicles and qualifying components under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM), authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
To date, the program has loaned $8 billion for projects that have supported the production of more than 4 million advanced technology vehicles.