Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

US DOE

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to 20 companies across 12 states for domestic manufacturing of EV batteries, electrical grid, and critical components as well as materials will reinforce America’s energy independence, create good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs, and lower costs.

The electric vehicle (EV) market in the United States broke records in 2021, estimated at just under 607,600 light electric vehicle sales. This unprecedented growth in the adoption of clean mobility (e-mobility) is a sign of the efforts taken by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the able leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration giving a thrust to EV manufacturing and the development of allied sectors.

In a recent development joining the list of funding sanctioned for EV battery manufacturing and advanced development over time, The Biden-Harris Administration, through the DOE, announced the first set of projects funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid and materials and components currently imported from other countries.

The selected 20 companies will receive a combined $2.8 billion to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite, and other battery materials, manufacture components, and demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials.

The Federal investment will be harmonized by beneficiaries to leverage a total of more than $9 billion to boost American production of clean energy technology, create good-paying jobs, and support President Biden’s national goals for electric vehicles to make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030 and to transition to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

“This is truly a remarkable time for manufacturing in America, as President Biden’s Agenda and historic investments supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

“Producing advanced batteries and components domestically will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles, creating better-paying jobs across the country.”

Enhancing Battery Supply Chain

The U.S. depends on foreign sources for many of the processed versions of critical minerals required to produce EV batteries. Since coming into office, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken swift action to secure a reliable and sustainable battery supply chain. The grants are a critical next step in that strategy.

The funded projects announced comprise the U.S. processing and recycling of critical minerals to support domestic manufacturing. Accountable and sustainable domestic sourcing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries—such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite—will reinforce the American supply chain, fast-track battery production to meet increased demand, and secure the nation’s economic competitiveness, energy independence, and national security.

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Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Recycling Selections (Source: Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains, U.S DOE)

The funding for the selected projects will support:

  • Developing enough battery-grade lithium to supply approximately 2 million EVs annually
  • Developing enough battery-grade graphite to supply approximately 1.2 million EVs annually
  • Producing enough battery-grade nickel to supply approximately 400,000 EVs annually
  • Installing the first large-scale, commercial lithium electrolyte salt (LiPF6) production facility in the United States
  • Developing an electrode binder facility capable of supplying 45 percent of the anticipated domestic demand for binders for EV batteries in 2030
  • Creating the first commercial-scale domestic silicon oxide production facilities to supply anode materials for an estimated 600,000 EV batteries annually
  • Installing the first lithium iron phosphate cathode facility in the United States
  • At present, practically all lithium, graphite, battery-grade nickel, electrolyte salt, electrode binder, and iron phosphate cathode material are produced abroad, and China controls the supply chains for many of these key inputs.

American Battery Material Initiative

The President also announced the launch of the American Battery Material Initiative, a dedicated effort to align Federal investments and activities, domestic and international, to accelerate the development of the full end-to-end battery supply chain, including the critical minerals and materials need to meet production and deployment goals.

The Initiative will be led by DOE, with support from the Department of the Interior, and work closely with the Partnership on Global Infrastructure and Investment and the Department of State to align and leverage dozens of programs and efforts across the Federal government to support and grow the battery supply chain, including resources through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.

The Initiative will coordinate domestic and international efforts to fast-track approval for critical minerals projects, ensuring that the United States develops the resources the country needs in an efficient and timely manner while strengthening Tribal consultation, community engagement, and environmental standards to build smarter, faster, and fairer.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members