The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Nov. 15 announced an investment of up to $3.5 billion for companies aimed at boosting domestic production of advanced batteries and the materials that go into them.
The funding—taken from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed into law in 2021—will go towards expanding domestic facilities for battery-grade processed critical minerals, battery components, and cell and pack manufacturing, the DOE said.
It will also focus on next-generation technologies and battery chemistries, in addition to lithium-based technologies.
Lithium Ion is currently the dominant battery type for electric vehicles (EVs) and electricity storage.
Such an expansion is critical to supporting the Biden administration’s push away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy and toward renewable energy, such as wind and solar; with the government hoping to reach a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and for electric vehicles to make up half of all new light-duty vehicle sales by 2030.
According to the DOE, the latest funding will help aid in strengthening the domestic supply chain for high-capacity batteries, including non-lithium batteries, and ensure the United States maintains a competitive battery materials processing industry to supply the North American battery supply chain.
Funding Will Boost Global Competitiveness
It will also help to enhance national l security and reduce reliance on what it called “foreign entities of concern.”
According to the DOE, the investment, which will be administered by its Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC), will also focus on creating and retaining “good-paying union jobs in the manufacturing workforce.”
“Positioning the United States front and center to meet the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our global competitiveness, maintain and create good-paying jobs, and strengthen our clean energy economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in a statement.
“President Biden’s historic investments are giving the boost needed to build a robust domestic battery supply chain that is Made-in-America,” she added.
Green Transition ‘Lowering Energy Costs’
Batteries are essential for grid storage, the resilience of homes and businesses, and electrification of the transportation sector, officials said.
“With the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary storage alone projected to increase the size of the lithium battery market by five- to ten-fold by the end of the decade, it is essential that the United States invests in the capacity to accelerate the development of a resilient supply chain for high-capacity batteries, including non-lithium batteries,” the DOE said.
According to estimates, total EC sales in Q3 hit 313,086, marking a 49.8 percent increase from the same period a year prior.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.