Federal grants and loans under new infrastructure funding laws will favor applicants with strategies to retain and attract skilled workers for “high-quality jobs," a move observers say is timed with escalating auto industry labor battles.
Lithium-ion battery developer KORE Power Inc. to supplement cost of $1.25-billion advanced EV battery manufacturing plant underway in Buckeye, Ariz., with $850-million conditional U.S. Energy Dept. loan.
Toyota's under-construction battery plant in North Carolina is now an almost $6B project with new funds, while Ford BlueOval plants in Tennessee and Kentucky are boosted by a $9.2-billion U.S. Energy Dept. conditional loan, its largest ever single investment.
U.S. Energy Dept. did not detail why it withdrew its conditional loan to Texas-based Microvast made last year for a $500M plant in Kentucky, but the firm's founder disputes Congressional allegations of alleged ties to the Chinese government voiced in letters to the agency since last year.
Form Energy plant on former W. Va. steel site would scale up novel approach to make batteries that can store intermittent energy longer, firm says, promising to "build strong relationships" with labor unions during construction.
Automaker BMW will spend $1.7B to boost production and battery support in South Carolina, as Ford commits to Ohio site for $4.2B new plant and upgrades, while feds sprinkle $2.8B for 20 other battery plant projects across the country.
Lansing, Mich., approved new tax breaks to attract a $2.5B announced factory, while other key facilities are under way in Ohio, Tennessee and elsewhere as part of a $35B U.S. electric vehicle investment by 2025.