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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Granholm: "Producing components here at home will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels"

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with support from the Biden-Harris administration, introduced the first set of projects backed by President Joe Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law meant to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid, as well as for materials and components currently imported from other countries, according to a release published on Wednesday.

Approximately $2.8 billion will be shared among 20 companies expected to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite, and other materials. Said facilities are also expected to manufacture components and demonstrate new means of developing battery technologies. Recipients will be able to match the federal investment for a total of over $9 billion to boost American production of clean energy technology, create well-paying jobs and support the national goals of having EVs make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030 and transitioning 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 DOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm. “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.”

While EV sales have tripled since early 2021, the United States is still largely dependent on foreign countries for the critical materials needed to make EV batteries. This investment, alongside others, is focused on securing a reliable and sustainable battery supply chain, with a large amount of the funding going toward the production and recycling of critical minerals needed for the domestic manufacturing of EV batteries. The DOE believes that responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing of the materials needed to make lithium-ion batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite, will strengthen the domestic supply chain, accelerate battery production to meet rising demand, and support the United States' economic competitiveness, energy independence, and national security.

The funding for the selected projects will support the following goals: The development of battery-grade lithium and graphite; the production of battery-grade nickel; the installation of the first large-scale, commercial lithium electrolyte salt production facility in the United States; the development of an electrode binder facility capable of supplying 45% of the anticipated domestic demand for binders for EV batteries in 2030; the creation of the first commercial-scale domestic silicon oxide production facilities; and the installation of the first lithium iron phosphate cathode facility in the United States.

Information regarding individual projects can be found here.

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