WASHINGTON—As part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy has unveiled a $15.5 billion package of funding and loans primarily focused on retooling existing factories for the transition to electric vehicles. It includes making available $2 billion in grants and up to $10 billion in loans to support automotive manufacturing conversion projects in communities that currently host these facilities.

The DOE also announced a Notice of Intent to make available $3.5 billion in funding to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the nation’s grid, as well for battery materials and components currently imported from other countries.

“President Biden is investing in the workforce and factories that made our country a global manufacturing powerhouse,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “Building the cars of the future also necessitates helping the communities challenged by the transition away from the internal combustion engine.”

According to Granholm, this program will “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.  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.”

Depending on their capital needs, manufacturers can apply to receive assistance via financial grants through DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains or preferable debt financing through DOE’s Loan Program Office. Preference will be given to projects that commit to pay high wages for production workers and maintain collective bargaining agreements.