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Ultium Cells offered $2.5 billion loan by US Department of Energy for battery plants

Image for representation purposes only. Source: Ultium Cells

United States' Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office (LPO) has announced a conditional commitment to Ultium Cells LLC for a $2.5 billion loan to help finance the construction of new lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cell manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.

Expected to realize in the coming months, the loan offer will help the GM and LG Energy Solutions' JV to set up three cell manufacturing facilities to boost local production of EV batteries in the country.

Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm commented on the development, "As electric cars and trucks continue to grow in popularity within the United States and around the world, we must seize the chance to make advanced batteries right here at home, which is at the heart of this growing industry".

LPO is offering the conditional commitment 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 is perhaps the LPO's first loan exclusively offered to a battery cell manufacturing project under ATVM, complementing historic investments of more than $7 billion for the critical minerals supply chains necessary for batteries and components secured by the Biden-Harris Administration in recent times.

The cells manufactured by Ultium Cells are large format, pouch-type cells of nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) chemistry. The cells are arranged in different combinations of flexible modules and battery packs to provide the energy for different vehicle types, especially for GM's electric vehicles.

LPO claims to support the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, which offers a vision for the United States and its partners to establish a secure battery materials and technology supply chain that supports long-term economic competitiveness and enables equitable job creation and decarbonization in the country. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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