Louisiana electric vehicle battery project in line for $107M federal loan


The U.S. Department of Energy has offered Syrah Technologies a “conditional commitment” for a $107 million loan to expand its capacity to produce materials for lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries in Vidalia.

If finalized, it would be the first loan from the federal government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing fund in more than 10 years. While previous recipients include Ford, Nissan and Tesla, this would be the first-ever ATVM loan to support a supply chain manufacturing project, the energy department says.

The Syrah Vidalia Facility is expected to support 98 permanent jobs and 150 construction jobs and produce enough natural graphite-based active anode material for about 2.5 million EVs by 2040, thus saving an estimated 970 million gallons of gasoline, the federal government says.

Syrah, based in Melbourne, Australia, in February announced plans to invest $176 million to expand its facility in Vidalia. The expansion announcement follows a December 2021 agreement with Tesla to supply natural graphite AAM for use in batteries.