The Biden administration has recently been pursuing efforts to help boost manufacturing and processing of electric vehicle batteries in the United States. One reason for this is due to the fact that the majority of EV batteries and materials are internationally sourced, primarily from China.
“Currently, virtually 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,” notes the White House in one of its fact sheets.
The administration has also been pushing to transition the U.S. away from gas-powered vehicles in favor of electric vehicles as a way to help combat climate change. Now, in one of the latest developments, the Biden administration stated that it will award $2.8 billion in grants for projects related to U.S. manufacturing of EV batteries as well as domestic processing of minerals such as lithium, graphite, and nickel.
“Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles, creating more good-paying jobs across the country,” Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, said in a recent statement.
In reports from outlets like CNBC, it’s noted that these grants will allow for at least 12 states to pursue manufacturing and processing, with the funds coming out of the president’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law.
According to the Energy Department, the projects receiving grant money will support the development of “enough lithium to supply about 2 million EVs per year” in addition to “developing enough graphite to supply about 1.2 million EVs per year” and “producing enough nickel to supply about 400,000 EVs per year.”
The department also noted that these projects will install the first large-scale commercial lithium electrolyte salt production facility in the U.S. in addition to developing an “electrode binder facility that will supply 45 percent of the anticipated domestic demand for binders for EV batteries in 2030.” Speaking of that 2030 target date, the White House has set a goal for EVs to make up half of all new vehicle sales by that time.
For more on the administration’s efforts to support EVs and EV battery manufacturing, be sure to read through some of our previous coverage including the U.S. Energy Department loaning GM $2.5 billion for battery manufacturing, and the U.S. Transportation Department approving EV charger station plans for all 50 states.