The following post is from Zoe Lipman, Senior Policy Advisory for the BlueGreen Alliance.
On Wednesday, the BlueGreen Alliance was thrilled to see the Department of Energy announce over $16 Billion in loans available to aid manufacturers to build, expand or retool factories in the US to build advanced vehicle technology (here’s our press release).
Please share our infographic that captures the ATVM’s big benefits. Here’s a walk through those benefits and a few more reasons why the ATVM is good policy and good for America.
The first round of loans made by the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (or ATVM) Loan Program helped construct or modernize 15 factories to build state of the art efficient vehicles and added or saved over 35,000 jobs in eight states: California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and Tennessee.
Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, Photo: Sam Varnhagen, Ford Motor Co.
This is what the ATVM looks like in practice >>>
ATVM loans helped Ford overhaul its Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky to build the new, far more efficient Ford Escape using a highly flexible manufacturing process. Ford added 3100 jobs at the plant while Kentucky suppliers added another 900 jobs building components to support Ford’s new vehicle. “It really makes us feel good about our future”, the plant manager, John Savona, said in 2012.
Now, streamlined ATVM processes make these loans more easily accessible, not just to automakers, but to the hundreds manufacturers making the technology that goes into improving fuel efficiency—advanced engines, powertrains, electronics, materials and many more.
Companies that benefit are located in communities all over the country
In 2011, the BlueGreen Alliance's partners the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation and the United Auto Workers published Supplying Ingenuity, which looked at the automotive manufacturing sector and found over 500 factories in 43 states that made components and technology that contribute to greater fuel economy, whether in advanced gasoline vehicles, hybrids or electrics. Even before the current automotive resurgence, those companies directly employed over 150,000 Americans and they are only part of the advanced automotive supply industry today. You can find out more about what advanced vehicle manufacturing means for jobs at www.DrivingGrowth.org.
Also….its wildly successful (and bipartisan)
In today’s partisan environment, it’s easy to forget that the ATVM was created in conjunction with the mandate for new fuel economy standards—part of the bipartisan 2007 Energy Bill signed into law by President Bush—and then strongly implemented by President Obama. Leaders on both sides of the aisle saw the critical importance to the US economy of not just buying and using—but building—the next generation of globally competitive transportation technology in the United States. And they were right. In part as a result of these sound policies, we are seeing a renaissance in the automotive sector which has added back 250,000 direct manufacturing jobs over the past four years and has underpinned growth in the US manufacturing sector for the first time in nearly two decades.
Meanwhile the DOE’s Loan Program Office’s portfolio of clean energy project investments (of which the ATVM is a part) has performed tremendously well for the American taxpayer. Its success rate—estimated at over 90 percent—is much higher than the venture capital firms it is sometimes compared to. Of the loan funds disbursed by the ATVM program, 97 percent have supported successful, job creating, advanced automotive investments that have anchored growth in U.S. communities. The taxpayer is doing well, and communities and businesses that depend on manufacturing are doing even better. Let’s keep moving forward!