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The enormous loan — by far the biggest government backing for a US automaker since the bailouts in the 2009 financial crisis — marks a watershed moment for President Joe Biden’s aggressive industrial policy meant to help American manufacturers catch up to China in green technologies.

The new factories that will eventually supply Ford’s expansion into electric vehicles are already under construction in Kentucky and Tennessee through a joint venture called BlueOval SK, owned by the Michigan automaker and South Korean battery giant SK On Co. Ford plans to make as many as 2 million EVs by 2026, a huge increase from the roughly 132,000 it produced last year.