DOE Awards $1.7 Billion to Convert Facilities in Eight States to Manufacture EVs

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As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $1.7 billion to support the conversion of 11 shuttered or at-risk auto manufacturing and assembly facilities across eight states — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Virginia — to manufacture electric vehicles and serve their supply chain.

These investments will create and retain thousands of union jobs and support the American auto communities that have driven the U.S. economy for generations. They deliver on Biden’s commitment to ensure the future of the auto industry is made in America by American union workers, and that the U.S. wins the competition for the 21st century. 

“There is nothing harder to a manufacturing community than to lose jobs to foreign competition and a changing industry,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Even as our competitors invest heavily in electric vehicles, these grants ensure that our automotive industry stays competitive — and does it in the communities and with the workforce that have supported the auto industry for generations.” 

“President Biden set out to build a clean energy economy that benefits everyone,” adds John Podesta, senior advisor to the president for International Climate Policy. “Today’s awards from the Department of Energy help bring that vision to life by investing in the future of the auto industry, creating thousands of good-paying union jobs, and tackling the existential threat of climate change by cutting pollution from the transportation sector.”

The Domestic Manufacturing Auto Conversion Grants program helps ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in auto manufacturing. Selectees will negotiate for awards to enable them to manufacture products covering a broad range of the automotive supply chain, including parts for electric school buses, hybrid powertrains, heavy-duty commercial truck batteries and electric SUVs.

This announcement complements the $177 billion in private sector investment in EV and battery manufacturing spurred to date by Bident’s Investing in America agenda. This program also supports the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to strengthen domestic supply chains, support American workers and bolster America’s global leadership in manufacturing.

Award selections are subject to negotiations to ensure that commitments to workers and communities are met. DOE will also complete environmental reviews to ensure that the awards are consistent with the administration’s commitments to clean, environmentally responsible manufacturing, and include appropriate mitigation as needed. If awarded, the selected projects would collectively create over 2,900 new jobs and help ensure over 15,000 skilled union workers are retained across all 11 facilities.

Among companies selected were school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation, which was selected to receive an $80 million grant from the DOE to expand the company’s EV manufacturing capabilities and related workforce development efforts.

The DOE also awarded $75 million to Cummins Inc. to convert approximately 360,000 square feet of existing manufacturing space at its Columbus (Indiana) Engine Plant (CEP) for zero-emissions components and electric powertrain systems. This is the largest federal grant ever awarded solely to Cummins.

Project descriptions and a full list of selections can be found here.   

The Domestic Auto Manufacturing Conversion Grants program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, invests in the domestic production of efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, plug-in electric drive and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. This program aims to expand manufacturing of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty electrified vehicles and components and support commercial facilities including those for vehicle assembly, component assembly and related vehicle part manufacturing. 

This program also advances Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments in climate, clean energy, clean transportation and other areas flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time. 

Funding for the Domestic Auto Manufacturing Conversion Grants will be administered by DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC).

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