The Biden Administration announced plans to award $2.8 billion in grants for projects designed to boost U.S. manufacturing of electric vehicle (EV) batteries and domestic mineral production.
The White House also launched the American Battery Material Initiative to strengthen critical mineral supply chains as automakers ramp up U.S. EV and battery production.
Around 20 manufacturing and processing companies in at least 12 states won U.S. Energy Department grants to develop enough battery-grade lithium, graphite and nickel mineral capacity. Two companies, Albemarle Corp. and Piedmont Lithium Inc., will use the funds to create the first large-scale, U.S. commercial lithium electrolyte salt production facility.
Funded projects include "retrofitted and expanded commercial-scale domestic facilities to produce battery materials, processing, cell components, and battery recycling and demonstrations," a White House official said.
The government also will supply funds for an electrode binder facility capable of supplying 45% of the expected U.S. demand for binders for EV batteries in 2030; the first commercial scale U.S. silicon oxide production facilities to supply anode materials; and first U.S. lithium iron phosphate cathode facility.
The White House and Energy Department led supply chain effort will strive to "mobilize the entire government in securing a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for power, electricity, and electric vehicles," the White House said.
President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric models and 500,000 new EV charging stations by 2030. Biden signed legislation in August that sets new strict battery component and sourcing requirements for OEM’s to achieve $7,500 consumer EV tax credits. A separate $1 trillion infrastructure law allocates $7 billion to ensure U.S. access to critical minerals and other components to manufacture EV batteries.
The White House said in a fact sheet that the U.S. and its allies do not produce enough of the critical minerals and materials used in EV batteries. China currently controls much of the critical mineral supply chain. According to the fact sheet, the “lack of mining, processing, and recycling capacity in the U.S. could hinder electric vehicle development and adoption, leaving the U.S. dependent on unreliable foreign supply chains.”