The US Department of Energy announced that Ford would get $9.2 billion as part of a conditional loan to help with the development of three enormous plants to produce batteries for electric vehicles. Since the bailouts following the 2009 Great Recession, the enormous loan is the largest government grant given to an automaker.
The loan comes from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (AVTM) programme of the DOE, which is well known for helping to establish Tesla and more recently giving a boost to a partnership between General Motors and LG Energy Solution to help fund the development of a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility.
The loans are a part of a larger initiative by the Biden administration to increase EV production as it tries to catch up with China, which now dominates around three-quarters of the world’s battery production. It’s also a key component of the White House’s strategy to support sustainable energy in the face of the worsening climate problem.
Ford has stated that it will invest $11.4 billion in three battery plants, two in Kentucky and one in Tennessee, along with South Korean battery producer SK Innovation. The two businesses intend to develop enough capacity through a joint venture named BlueOvalSK to supply 129 GWH of capacity annually, which would be sufficient to power 2 million EVs yearly by 2026.
Ford stated that it appreciated the financing. According to Ford’s treasurer Dave Webb, it’s going to help make great EVs available to more customers while powering thousands of well-paying jobs and American manufacturing. “Collaboration between the public and private sectors has historically expedited significant technological transitions. The DOE’s insight in this area will assist in facilitating the switch to zero-emissions transportation,” he said