Biden Admin announces $3.1 billion to manufacture electric vehicle batteries in the United States

President Joe Biden’s administration is working to increase the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States. He announced $3.1 billion in funding from the Department of Energy to help companies build new factories or retrofit current factories to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles in the United States.

The latest funding is part of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law last year. The goal is to support domestic battery production to reduce America’s dependence on oil and other countries that supply minerals for batteries. This announcement comes as the price of gas has skyrocketed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sanctions on Russian oil.

Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Advisor

“These made-in-America batteries are going to help reduce emissions and create opportunity across the country.”

In addition to the $3.1 billion in funding, the White House also announced it would allocate $60 million in grants for battery recycling programs.

According to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, “President Biden’s historic investment in battery production and recycling will give our national supply chain the boost it needs to become safer and less dependent on others. nations, strengthening our clean energy economy, creating well-paying jobs and decarbonizing the transport sector.

Lithium, cobalt and other minerals needed for electric vehicle batteries are currently being widely processed in Asia. According to the London-based company Reference Mineral IntelligenceChina is responsible for 80% of the global raw materials needed for advanced batteries.

The transportation sector – cars, trucks, commercial aircraft and railroads – in the United States is a major contributor to the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, about a third of the country’s emissions can be attributed to transportation.

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The Biden administration has set a goal for electric vehicles to account for half of all vehicle sales in the United States by 2030. Increasing battery production and reducing costs are key to the adoption of electric vehicles.

The $3.1 billion will be made available to companies as grants to those wishing to build factories in the United States. The program stipulates that companies must match the grant amount and the minimum grant is $50 million. This means that any new factory must cost at least $100 million.

“These grants to expand battery manufacturing in the United States will create well-paying jobs, boost our economic competitiveness, and help us fight the climate crisis,” said U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

Several automakers, like Ford and General Motors, have announced plans to build battery factories in the United States, which will now be boosted by subsidies. Last fall, Ford announced plans to build two lithium-ion battery plants in Kentucky and a 3,600-acre campus in Tennessee that will include an additional battery plant and recycling center. Battery production in factories is expected to start as early as 2025.

General Motors also announced earlier this year that it would build its third battery plant in Lansing, Michigan. GM will begin building the new battery plant this summer and is scheduled to open in late 2024. According to GM, the facility will have a capacity of 50 gigawatt hours of battery cells in full production.

Lauren Leffer, Gizmodo

There is no doubt that we must move away from fossil fuels, as soon as possible, to avoid the ever more serious consequences of climate change. But switching to all electric cars or more battery storage on the power grid, while possible, is fraught with potential political, environmental and human complications.

There’s a bigger sustainability issue at play with an electric-only future. British scientists have done the math to discover that we, as a planet, lack of resources to fully electrify automobiles. Simply put: the adoption of electric vehicles is a crucial part of the solution, but electric cars alone will not save us.

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