US DOE Announces $15.5B Package for Legacy Automakers


The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a $15.5 billion package of funding and loans for the retooling of existing factories towards electric vehicle production. This includes up to $2 billion in grants and $10 billion in loans to support automotive factory conversion projects that “retain high-quality jobs in communities that current host these manufacturing facilities.”

Grants are given via scores, which include points awarded for various workforce statuses. Automakers which employ via union (collective bargaining agreements) or have a “high-wage hourly production workforce” will be considered over those who do not.

The Domestic Conversion Grant Program is currently accepting applications. Depending on their capital needs, manufacturers can apply to receive assistance via financial grants through DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) or preferable debt financing through DOE’s Loan Program Office.

The DOE also announced a notice of intent to make $3.5 billion in funding available for the expansion of battery manufacturing for electric vehicles and the nation’s grid. This includes production of battery materials and components that are currently imported from abroad.

“The program aims to support a just transition for workers and communities in the transition to electrified transportation, with particular attention to communities supporting facilities with longer histories in automotive manufacturing. Preference will also be given to projects that commit to pay high wages for production workers and maintain collective bargaining agreements.

“Projects selected for this funding must also contribute to the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in America’s workforce and ensure every community benefits from the transition to a clean energy future. This funding supports goals and targets detailed in the 100-day reviews under Executive Order 14017 “America’s Supply Chains and the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries’ National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries,” which provides a path to building a strong domestic battery supply chain and accelerating the development of a robust, secure, and equitable domestic industrial base by 2030.

“Concept papers are due 2 October 2023, and the deadline for full applications is 7 December 2023.”