First Three Conditional Loan Commitments Under DOE’s ATVM Program go to Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motors and Tesla Motors
The Obama Administration is awarding $8 billion in three conditional loan commitments for the development of innovative, advanced vehicle technologies: $5.9 billion for Ford Motor Company; $1.6 billion to Nissan North America, Inc.; and $465 million to Tesla Motors.
These are the first conditional loan commitments reached as part of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. The Department plans to make additional loans under this program over the next several months to large and small auto manufacturers and parts suppliers up and down the production chain.
The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, first appropriated in the fall of 2008, will provide about $25 billion in loans to companies making cars and components in US factories that increase fuel economy at least 25% above 2005 fuel economy levels.
Applications for the loan program have included vehicles running on electricity, biofuels, and advanced combustion engines, and were submitted by both car and component makers, US automakers, US manufacturing subsidiaries of non-US-based companies, major US auto parts suppliers, and startups.
Ford Motor Company will receive $5.9 billion in loans through 2011 to help finance numerous engineering advances to traditional internal combustion engines and electrified vehicles. In addition, theses loans will help the company convert two truck plants to the production of cars.
Ford will be raising the fuel efficiency of more than a dozen models, including the Focus, Escape, Taurus and F-150, representing close to two million new vehicles annually. Ford is driving a major upgrade, leveraging a portfolio of technologies, including the direct injection, smart turbocharging EcoBoost engine, advanced transmissions, and new hybrid technologies.
The facilities that will be affected by the funding include: Chicago Assembly, Louisville Assembly, Dearborn Assembly, Dearborn Engine, Livonia Transmission, Michigan Assembly, Van Dyke Transmission, Kansas City Assembly, Cleveland Engine, Lima Engine, and Sharonville Transmission.
Nissan will receive $1.6 billion to produce electric cars and battery packs at its manufacturing complex in Smyrna, Tennessee. The loan will aid in the construction of a new battery plant and modifications to the existing assembly facility. These fully electric cars are an milestone for vehicles produced in the United States by a major international automaker.
The Department of Energy describes the new state of the art facility as “a notable effort by a major automaker with well-established US operations to produce its most advanced vehicles and lithium-ion batteries.”
Nissan will offer electric vehicles to fleet and retail customers, and plans to ramp up production capacity in Smyrna up to 150,000 vehicles annually.
Tesla Motors will receive $465 million in two parts. The first part is to finance a manufacturing facility for the Tesla Model S electric sedan. Production of the Model S will begin in 2011 and ramp up to 20,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2013.
The second part of the loan will support a facility to manufacture battery packs and electric drive trains to be used in Teslas and in vehicles built by other automakers, including the smart for two city car. Early pilot battery pack production will begin in 2011, reaching about 10,000 by 2012 and 30,000 packs in 2013.