Salem Radio Network News Sunday, November 27, 2022

Business

U.S. awards $2.8 billion for EV battery, grid projects

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) – The Biden administration will announce on Wednesday it is awarding $2.8 billion in grants for projects to boost U.S. manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries and domestic mineral production, a White House official told Reuters.

The White House is also launching an effort to strengthen critical mineral supply chains as automakers race to expand U.S. electric vehicle and battery production dubbed the “American Battery Material Initiative.”

The 20 manufacturing and processing companies in 15 states winning U.S. Energy Department grants will use funds to develop enough battery-grade lithium, graphite and nickel and the first large-scale, U.S. commercial lithium electrolyte salt production facility.

The projects include “retrofitted, and expanded commercial-scale domestic facilities to produce battery materials, processing, cell components, and battery recycling and demonstrations”

Funds will also be used to develop an electrode binder facility capable of supplying 45% of the anticipated 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 supply chain effort, led by a White House steering committee and coordinated by the Energy Department of Energy with support from the Interior Department, aims 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.

By 2030, President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric models along with 500,000 new EV charging stations. He has not endorsed the phasing out of new gasoline-powered vehicle sales by 2030.

Legislation Biden signed in August sets new strict battery component and sourcing requirements for $7,500 consumer EV tax credits. A separate $1 trillion infrastructure law signed in November 2021 allocates $7 billion to ensure U.S. manufacturers can access critical minerals and other necessary components to manufacture the batteries.

The White House said in a fact sheet the United States and allies do not produce enough of the critical minerals and materials used in EV batteries.

It said: “China currently controls much of the critical mineral supply chain and 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.”

In March, Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to support the production and processing of minerals and materials used for EV batteries.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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