Biden Announces $3 Billion in Grants for Domestic Electric Vehicle Battery Production

Renewable Energy
President Joe Biden speaks at the General Motors Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant
President Joe Biden speaks at the General Motors Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 17, 2021. Nic Antaya / Getty Images

The Biden administration has announced a $3.16 billion plan to stimulate the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S., an essential step in reducing the carbon emissions that are causing global warming.

The money will be made available in the form of grants to encourage the manufacturing of more high-capacity batteries and the sourcing of the raw materials needed to make them. Funded by last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grants will help U.S. companies build new factories and modify old ones so that they can manufacture EV batteries and parts, CNBC reported. There will be an additional $60 million for a battery reuse and recycling program, the Department of Energy said.

“With the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary storage alone projected to increase the size of the lithium battery market 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,” said a grant availability announcement from the U.S. Department of Energy, as the Detroit Free Press reported.

President Joe Biden wants half of all new vehicle sales in the country to be electric by the end of the decade, and has also issued guidelines for all new cars and trucks bought by the federal government to be emissions-free by 2035, reported The New York Times.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the funding from the infrastructure bill was “just the tip of the iceberg,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Minerals like lithium and cobalt that are necessary to make EV batteries and for energy storage are mostly processed in Asia, with China in charge of the lion’s share, reported The New York Times.

“Positioning the United States front and center in meeting the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our competitiveness and electrify our transportation system,” said Granholm, as the Detroit Free Press reported. “President Biden’s historic investment in battery production and recycling will give our domestic supply chain the jolt it needs to become more secure and less reliant on other nations.”

Chris Nevers of EV manufacturer Rivian Automotive Inc. told lawmakers that the U.S. had the ability and mineral resources to make entirely domestic EV batteries, reported The New York Times.

“With today’s announcement, over $3 billion, we will ensure that the United States is not just the world leader in making batteries, but in innovating the advanced battery technologies that we need in the future and securing the supply chain so we can be less vulnerable to global supply disruptions and making this industry sustainable by recycling materials and using cleaner manufacturing processes,” said White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy, as The Hill reported.

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