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Granholm back in Michigan to announce $2.5 B battery loan

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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 Solution and the United Auto Workers, announced a deal has been wrapped up for a $2.5 billion loan that clears the way to build three new U.S. battery plants – including one in Lansing.

“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 LLCis a GM-LG Energy Solution partnership, which will build and operate the battery plants.

Granholm said the loan from 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 dependence on imports as we build battery production capacity,” he said. “Without proper planning, our dependence on imports will become even greater.”

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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