According to Reuters, two prominent U.S. representatives expressed their strong disapproval on December 7 of the U.S. Energy Department (DOE)’s decision. This body awarded $200 million to Microvast Holdings in collaboration with General Motors Co to build a new EV battery components plant in Tennessee.
Representative Frank Lucas, top Republican on the House Science Committee, said that nearly 80% of Microvast’s assets are in China and 61% of its revenue came from China.
Moreover, Microvast has publicly admitted its ties to CCP in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Lucas pointed out, “Microvast itself discloses that the Chinese government ‘exerts substantial influence’ over their business activities and ‘may intervene, at any time and with no notice.”
Lucas added, “Microvast has received subsidies from the Chinese government and the majority of its customers are associated with state-owned companies in the People’s Republic of China. Moreover, it is on an SEC watchlist of foreign companies facing delisting for failing to comply with U.S. auditing requirements.”
Lucas questioned the DOE’s selection procedure for these grants. “All of this information is publicly available and easily accessible. It appears that the Department either chose to ignore the information or was grossly negligent in the vetting process.”
Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee wrote in a letter to DOE secretary Jennifer Granholm, that the grant of DOE to Microvast Holdings “endangers our national security” and “undermine[s] the United States’ position in its race against China for technological supremacy.”
Barrasso requested Granholm to hand over documents describing the “security review process” for companies receiving DOE funding, along with the names of officials in charge of approving the payments.
Lucas suggested, “Given the extremely irresponsible decision to grant taxpayer dollars to a company with such close ties to the CCP, I am requesting an immediate pause on any further funding of this program.”Founded in Houston, Texas in 2016, Microvast has grown from a research and technology driven company to the one in design, development and manufacture of battery solutions for mobile and stationary applications. Microvast’s batteries are integrated in over 300,000 vehicles, running in 160 cities across 19 countries.