The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made $3.1 billion in funding available to support the creation of new, retrofitted, and expanded commercial facilities as well as manufacturing demonstrations and battery recycling plants in the US.
The infrastructure investments come from US president Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is aimed at increasing US manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries and components and bolster domestic supply chains.
DOE is also announcing a separate $60 million to support second-life applications utilising used batteries from electric vehicles, as well as new processes for recycling materials back into the battery supply chain.
Both funding opportunities are key components of the Biden Administration’s strategy to strengthen the US’ energy independence and reduce its reliance on competing nations.
It’s believed the responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing of materials used to make lithium-ion batteries—lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite—will help avoid or mitigate supply chain disruptions and accelerate battery production in the US.
US senator Debbie Stabenow said: “For too long, other countries have been outpacing the United States in funding new technologies.
“We are at a critical moment in our competition to build the next generation of electric vehicles and batteries here in America and to secure automotive leadership in these next generation vehicles.
“This funding will help us win this race by investing in our supply chain and manufacturing here at home. Our workers are the best in the world, and there’s nothing more American than ensuring that our products and technology are built in America.”
National battery blueprint
The “Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing” and “Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and Second Life Applications” funding opportunities are aligned with the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, authored by the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries, and led by DOE and the Departments of Defense, Commerce, and State.
The blueprint details a path to bolstering the domestic battery supply by equitably creating a robust and diverse battery workforce by 2030.