US DOE to invest $15.5 billion in transition to EVs and jobs

Manufacturing facilities will be converted into EV plants and jobs will be reallocated to current workers.
Loukia Papadopoulos
The logo of the US Department of Energy.jpg
The logo of the US Department of Energy.


On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) “announced a $15.5 billion package of funding and loans primarily focused on retooling existing factories for the transition to electric vehicles (EVs)—supporting good jobs and a just transition to EVs.”

This is according to a press release by the DOE.

Conversion projects, batteries for EVs and high-quality jobs

The money will go toward automotive manufacturing conversion projects that provide employment to local communities as well as funding to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the local grid. Priority will be given to companies that have an existing high-quality, high-wage hourly production workforce.

All assistance will be provided via financial grants through DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) or through preferable debt financing provided through DOE’s Loan Program Office.

The move is all part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that has seen over $500 billion invested in clean energy in the United States in order to create good-paying jobs and a sustainable green economy that will serve to tackle global warming. 

“President Biden is investing in the workforce and factories that made our country a global manufacturing powerhouse,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcements show that President Biden understands that building the cars of the future also necessitates helping the communities challenged by the transition away from the internal combustion engine.”  

The money will be allocated as follows: $2 billion will go to the conversion of long-standing facilities to manufacture electric vehicles and components, $10 billion in automotive manufacturing conversion projects that retain high-quality jobs and $3.5 billion to aid in the production of advanced batteries and battery materials used in clean energy.

Praised by the United Auto Workers

Biden’s new initiatives were praised by the United Auto Workers (UAW) for focusing on keeping car manufacturing jobs in America. UAW President Shawn Fain issued a statement praising the recent rounds of funding.

“The UAW supports and is ready for the transition to a clean auto industry. But the EV transition must be a just transition that ensures auto workers have a place in the new economy. Today’s announcement from the Department of Energy echoes the UAW’s call for strong labor standards tied to all taxpayer funding that goes to auto and manufacturing companies,” said the executive.

“We are glad to see the Biden Administration doing its part to reject the false choice between a good job and a green job. This new policy makes clear to employers that the EV transition must include strong union partnerships with the high pay and safety standards that generations of UAW members have fought for and won.

Fain added that over 65 plants in the last 20 years have been shut down, creating massive unemployment and putting workers in very difficult situations. He promised to continue working with the Biden administration to provide quality jobs for all his members and the country’s many auto workers.