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Along with apple pie, baseball, and tipping, the automobile is classically American. But when it comes to the 21st century passenger car, automakers in the United States — save for Tesla — have been playing catchup, scrambling to counter the rise of China’s electric vehicle boom. Sure, both EVs and internal combustion cars have seats and four wheels, but it’s not so simple as American automakers swapping in a few parts and calling it a day.

So on Thursday, the Department of Energy announced $1.7 billion to fund the conversion of 11 auto manufacturing facilities, which had either been shut down or were at risk of shutting down, to make EVs and supplies for the burgeoning industry. Those facilities will be spread across eight states — Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — which the DOE says will create 2,900 new jobs and ensure that more than 15,000 union workers keep theirs. General Motors will get $500 million for one of its plants in Lansing, Michigan, and Fiat Chrysler nearly $600 million total for two of its facilities.

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