US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz today highlighted improvements to the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program at the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) Legislative Summit. The ATVM Program, administered by the Department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO), has more than $16 billion in remaining loan authority to support the production of fuel-efficient, advanced technology vehicles and components in the US. LPO has not made an ATVM award since March 2011; that loan, for $50 million to the Vehicle Production Group LLC, is now discontinued.
The LPO made a total of 5 awards; the other four were:
- $529 million to Fisker (discontinued)
- $5.907 billion to Ford (closed)
- $1.448 billion to Nissan (closed)
- $465 million to Tesla (closed)
The US auto industry has evolved since the ATVM Program was established and today we are presented with an opportunity to hit the accelerator on US auto manufacturing growth. Motor vehicle parts manufacturers play a significant role in the development and deployment of new technologies to meet the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and we believe the ATVM Loan Program can play an important financing role as the industry establishes the next generation of manufacturing facilities in the United States.—Secretary Moniz
Steps DOE says it is taking to improve the ATVM Loan Program include:
Clarified Eligibility For Component Suppliers: LPO has clarified that a broad range of automotive component technologies are eligible for the program. These fuel-efficient technologies may include, but are not limited to, advanced engines and powertrains, light-weighting materials, advanced electronics, and fuel-efficient tires.
Improved Responsiveness to Applicants: LPO has updated its program description to describe the application process, eligibility requirements, and the program’s mission and goals. LPO also offers pre-application consultations with potential applicants to promote an open and transparent exchange of information about the program, its eligibility requirements, and loan terms.
Revised the Application Process: DOE says that it recognizes the need for timely processing of applications and a clear understanding of the types of information required during due diligence. A new online application portal is intended to facilitate and improve the ease of the application process.