ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images
Deparment Of Energy Sign Building July 22 2019 Alastair Pike Afp Via Getty Images 5e42dce2d865b

DOE Will Cancel Vehicle Tech Loan Program, Fund Manufacturing Research

Feb. 11, 2020
The Department of Energy unveiled $187 million in funding for manufacturing R&D on the same day the federal budget announced its intention to cancel their advanced auto tech loan program.

On February 10, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would allocate $187 million in funding for projects that support manufacturing innovation. On the same day, the President Trump Fiscal Year 2021 budget revealed the DOE would cancel their Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

The funds announced include $48 million in cost share and are allocated to fund 55 projects in 25 states. The DOE’s Office for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, the source of the grants, will offer the funds in three categories related to advanced materials, process heating and drying, and power conversion.

The first, largest category will provide $124.6 million for 36 projects developing advanced materials and energy systems, including $65.9 million for lowering the cost of batteries—an increasingly important technology in an era of automobile electrification.

The second category, which has eight projects, is dedicated to improving the efficiency of process heating and drying. Those projects will receive a combined $28.7 million. The third category will use $33.5 million to fund 11 projects related to industrial power conversion equipment, including “recent advances in new, wide-bandgap semiconductors” and combined systems that can produce heat and power efficiently onsite.

The funds were announced the same day as President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget announced its intention to cancel the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan program. According to the Department of Energy, the program has loaned $8 billion for advanced technology vehicles to date and earned the government almost $3 billion in interest. The program is also notable for loaning Tesla $465 million in 2010 to develop the Model S. Tesla repaid the loan in 2013.

The ATVM was put up for cancellation in the federal 2020 budget as well, but was sustained by the House Appropriations Committee. Ohio Representative Tim Ryan, a Democratic member of the committee, criticized the plan to cancel the loan program. In a statement, he noted that Lordstown Motors, the electric-truck startup, was planning on seeking a $200 million loan from the program.

Lordstown Motors was founded last year to manufacture electric trucks in a former GM plant that shuttered in 2019. Congressman Ryan swore he would use his influence on the House Appropriations Committee to keep the loan program up and running.

About the Author

Ryan Secard | Associate Editor


Focus: Workforce and labor issues; machining and foundry management

Associate Editor Ryan Secard covers topics relevant to the manufacturing workforce, including recruitment, safety, labor organizations, and the skills gap. Ryan has written IndustryWeek's Salary Survey annually since 2021 and has coordinated its Talent Advisory Board since September 2023.

Ryan got started at IndustryWeek in August 2019 as an editorial intern and was hired as a news editor in 2020 before his 2023 promotion to associate editor, talent. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Wooster.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!