On Monday, the US Department of Energy announcements that it is releasing more than $ 3 billion to stimulate battery production in the country. Funding is divided into two parts, one to stimulate the processing of batteries and production demonstrations, and the other to encourage the reuse and recycling of batteries for electric vehicles.
Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden’s administration began a review of the lithium battery industry in the United States. The result was “National plan“, Which set a series of priorities for stimulating domestic production and use.
- Developing local sources of raw materials and researching alternative materials for things for which no domestic supplies are available
- Develop a processing capacity capable of converting these minerals into battery materials
- Stimulating the US-based battery industry
- Work with end-of-life batteries used in the United States, including advanced recycling
- Promoting the education and research and development needed to remain competitive
The recent law on infrastructure spending includes $ 7 billion to improve the internal battery supply chain, so the new funding announcement represents a significant part of that cost. It focuses specifically on three of the above priorities: material handling, battery production and end of life. The latter will largely focus on recycling, but will include money set aside to promote “second life” of batteries that are no longer suitable for use in vehicles. This usually means that they will be used to provide electrical storage in the network.
The United States is already home to significant battery production, largely to provide a growing market for electric vehicles. In general, however, it relies on materials brought from abroad. The new funding seems to be an attempt to limit the industry’s dependence on overseas supply chains for materials used in production and to lay the groundwork for dealing with a possible surge in end-of-life batteries.