Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
89.9-FM Classical WMUK is off the air due to a power outage. You can still listen at WMUK 102.1-FM HD-2 and through the live stream on our website and app

Granholm, back in Michigan, announces a $2.5 billion battery loan

The viewer is looking down into a grey container filled with white powder. A grey scoop is lightly dug in.
John Locher/AP
A container of lithium carbonate sits in a shipping warehouse at Albemarle Corp.'s Silver Peak lithium facility, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, in Silver Peak, Nev. Lithium is used to make a variety of rechargeable batteries.

The loan clears the way to build three new U.S. battery plants – including one in Lansing.

(MPRN) U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Monday she would like to see electric vehicles make up half of the nation’s new car and truck sales within eight years.

That’s as the federal government and participants including General Motors, LG Energy Solutions and the United Auto Workers announced a deal has been wrapped up for a $2.5 billion loan.

“This is bringing manufacturing back and bringing future manufacturing to this country,” said Granholm, who served as governor of Michigan from 2003 to 2011.

Ultium Cells LLC is a GM-LG Energy Solution partnership, which will build and operate the battery plants.

Granholm said the loan will help build the supply chain necessary to get EVs to market as well as recruit and train the workforce to build the electric cars and trucks.

“We in the Biden-Harris administration made a bet that looking to the future will generate manufacturing jobs here instead of seeing them go offshore to places with lower wages,” she said.

The UAW is part of the deal, which includes wage guarantees. UAW President Ray Curry said financial incentives and training partnerships with educational institutions are critical to the endeavor.

“If the US doesn’t invest in upstream battery supply chain, US manufacturers will be dependent on imports as we build battery production capacity,” he said. “Without proper planning, our dependence on imports will become even greater.”