UAW supports Biden’s $15.5B plan to fund manufacture of hybrids, EVs

A mural is displayed outside of the United Auto Workers union hall on February 28, 2023 in Belvidere, Illinois. The hall sits near Stellantis' Belvidere Assembly Plant, which most recently produced the Cherokee but was idled indefinitely as of today. The automaker, which had employed about 1,150 workers at the assembly plant, was the largest employer in Belvidere, a city of about 25,000 people in Northern Illinois. The plant opened in 1965 and once employed more than 5,000 workers. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $15.5 billion in funding and loans for the automotive industry. The package is primarily focused on retooling existing factories so that they can transition to building electric vehicles. $2 billion in grants and up to $10 billion in loans will be available to support automotive manufacturing conversion projects that retain “high-quality jobs” in communities that currently host these manufacturing facilities.

“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.”

Rouge Electric Vehicle Center ford f-150 lightning building manufacturing plant uaw biden loan ev hybrid grant

Among the announcements is a new $2 billion funding opportunity to spur the conversion of long-standing facilities to the manufacture of electric vehicles and related components. The Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grants for electrified vehicles program will provide cost-shared grants for domestic production of hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, plug-in electric drive, and hydrogen fuel cell/electric vehicles.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale plug in cord to car

“Particular attention” will be paid “to communities supporting facilities with longer histories in automotive manufacturing. Preference will also be given to projects that commit to pay high wages for production workers and maintain collective bargaining agreements.” In other words, mostly Michigan.

The DOE is also making available up to $10 billion in loan authority for applications under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program for automotive manufacturing conversion projects that retain high-quality jobs in communities that currently host manufacturing facilities. Examples include retaining high wages and benefits, including workplace rights, or commitments such as keeping the existing facility open until a new facility is complete, in the case of facility replacement projects.

DOE also announced its intent to invest approximately $3.5 billion to boost the production of advanced batteries and battery materials that are critical to rapidly growing clean energy industries of the future, including electric vehicles and energy storage. This notice of intent represents the second round of funding for battery materials processing and battery manufacturing grants to support the creation of new, retrofitted, and expanded domestic commercial facilities for battery materials, battery components, and cell manufacturing.

VW Lithium Ion Battery
Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain applauded the move. “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.

“The Big Three have closed or spun off 65 plants in the last 20 years,” Fain said. “The automakers have not yet promised job security in our ongoing negotiations. I have traveled across the country, meeting displaced workers who’ve had to pick up and move their families when plants shut down recently in Belvidere, Illinois; Lordstown, Ohio; and Romeo, Michigan. These new grants and loans will give plants like these a chance for federal support to ensure those jobs and communities are protected.”

Stellantis Belvidere Illinois plant empty lot aerial
Belvidere Assembly Scott Olson/Getty Images




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    The Federal Government shouldn’t be funding the auto industry with my money to force the conversion of American cars to EVs. These vehicles are actually more damaging to the environment than the IC vehicles we now have and do not have sufficient range on a charge to be practical for anything but town cars. The amount of wasted time spent in the charging process makes them unusable in Western states between cities. The batteries have a finite life and are full of toxic materials that are hard to dispose of and our electrical grid is incapable of supporting the demand these vehicles would place on it. Aside from that, they are a wonderful fantasy.

    Look we all need to get a grip here. Too many opinions that are totally wrong on both sides and neither are going to fix the issue.

    Here is the deal. EV cars are not evil and some are very good. Are they perfect no and it will be a while before they are prefect for every situation. In some cases like the Amazon truck that comes here they work very well as it has a set route and it does the job very well.

    Here is the real problem. People really do not look at what people stand for when voting. Many vote and they make it a personality game vs really looking at policies and what they really support. Non car people never even make a EV connection to the person they voting for. Make you really wonder what else they miss.

    Many blame the automakers but they are having this forced on them not buy choice. That argument never washed.

    Then you have the truths about the Hybrids. They are worse then EV or ICE both. They have the best and worse of each. They have expensive batteries that go bad and they have the same expensive ICE upkeep you will have so you will pay more if you do not lease or trade often. I just witnessed the cost of a 10 year old Malibu that a local shop could not repair due to the lack of info available so it had to go to the dealer.

    What is needed here is encourage the development of EV models but remove the dead line. 2035 is just not going to work. Also stop making it damn near impossible to build an ICE vehicles as it is now we are mostly 4 and 3 cylinder cars now out side of trucks.

    If you look the average American has always preferred vehicles about the size of a 40 Ford sedan footprint. This translated to the size of a early 80’s LTD and Caprice once they were gone it is now the size of many CUV and SUV models.

    These smaller engines are pretty good but they are getting more and more complicated and expensive.

    If the government is going to force or what to see EV grow they will need to do some compensation. Better to give it to an Automaker that will really do something with it vs just giving it to new green upstart that the CEO walks away with millions after a couple failed years. That is where the big scam is these upstarts and many political folks are profiting. Mr. Gore to name one.

    The way forward here is to get the Automaker and Washington together and really work out a plan that is fair and affordable for the country and the people who live here.

    They need to work to fund the future but not bankrupt the tax payers in the process. This means much more time for development funding EV where it will do the most good. In the mean time not make it tougher and more costly to build and buy or repair ICE.

    We are a country that travels on our own wheels this is not Europe. We just can’t hop trains or drive city to city in a couple hours as many are so far apart. We need to retain more than one type of transportation and we need to match what works best for each situation.

    Above all we should not force the public at this time into things they can not use or like. They will reject it even if it did work for them just because it was forced.

    Generally most of the grids will support the needs. They are all being upgraded as they were in need anyways. EV car do drive well and do well around town and most people can easily live with one as a daily driver. As for emissions ICE MFG is not all that clean either so stop throwing stones.

    I am a very strong ICE supporter but I am not going to lie about EV either. I make my living with the racing industry and I have more to lose than most here.

    We all need to note the actions of departments like the EPA and CARB. They are being run by activist and they are changing rules they often have no right to change as passed by the federal government.

    The RPM act was one that is trying to counter the EPA trying to force race cars never on the road can not be modified fully for racing. Example. You buy a Mustang for a track car you can not modify the engine for the track with headers and open exhaust. The law was written to permit this but they changed it of their own actions.

    To deal with this we all need to be a bit more smarter and honest about what is going on. Lies will not change things and if anything remove all creditability you will have toward making things better.

    Right now what is key is to fight the 14 states that adopted the no ICE rules using CARB rules. These states are working independent and the automakers are forced to meet their rules as they are nearly 50% of the market.

    Might read up on Bob Lutz. He spoke lately on the EV and he was very honest. He was a supporter but at this point he admits that things are not moving fast enough to do this right. His honesty is refreshing on a topic that is so miss leading and detersive.

    We need the American people to pay attention now more than ever. At a time many can’t name who the VP is we need them to engage and really learn the truth. But the radicals that are forcing the Green Agenda are much more organized. No one wants bad air or water but their is room to work and permit what is best for the country and the people. Power and money have over taken and it is going to be difficult. Voting is one thing we still have and if we do it in great numbers for the people doing the right thing they can not continue their path.

    the UAW is asking for crazy 46% raise, 30 hour work week with no cut from normal 40 hour pay, you can sure tell what they are smoking, I could not even dream about such pay.

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