The United States Energy Department had told lithium battery company Microvast Holdings that it would not award it a $200 million grant, a source familiar with the matter said this on Monday after lawmakers cited their concerns over its alleged connections to China’s government. The Energy Department had been conversing with Microvast over the grant to help build a plant in Tennessee. The grant emerged from the $1 trillion 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law.
Two Republican lawmakers expressed their disapproval of the decision to grant the funding; they indicated that Microvast had ties with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). That raised severe concerns over the department’s ability to protect taxpayer dollars in the United States. Representative Frank said the funds were intended to strengthen America’s battery production and supply chain and not increase China’s stranglehold on these supplies. The lawmakers have yet to provide details about the accusations of the company’s ties to the Chinese government.