Trump Budget Would Cut Loan Program for Vehicle Production Used by Tesla, Ford
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would reportedly kill a loan program that assisted automakers such as Ford and Tesla in producing more environmentally friendly vehicles, including Tesla’s all-electric Model S.
The proposed cut, according to the 2021 budget proposal, is to the U.S. Energy Department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, which has distributed more than $8 billion in loans to companies to produce such vehicles, according to the program’s website.
Most recently, electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors, which purchased GM’s shuttered Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio, was in discussion with government leaders about a loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
In an emailed statement on Monday to CNBC, Lordstown Motors said it had not yet applied for the loan. It said the company continues to evaluate its options for financing: “We are continuing conversations with government leaders as we explore our options, but we see it as one of our many options to consider. We will factor this new information into our decision making process, but our business model stands on its own without it.”
According to the program’s website, previous loans have included $465 million to Tesla for production of the Model S in 2010; $5.9 billion to Ford to upgrade 13 facilities in six states for a variety of vehicles in 2009; and $1.45 billion for Nissan for a new advanced battery manufacturing plant and facility upgrades for a plant in Tennessee for to produce the all-electric Nissan Leaf in 2010.
As of September 2017, both Tesla and Nissan had fully repaid their loans, according to the website. Ford is scheduled to repay its loan in September 2022.