Biden to announce nearly $3 billion for US battery production in electric vehicle push

7 months ago 16

President Joe Biden speaks about infrastructure investments at the LA Metro, D Line (Purple) Extension Transit Project – Section 3, in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Biden on Wednesday will outline nearly $3 billion in investments to boost domestic battery manufacturing, which officials said will help meet the need for critical supplies as the country ramps up electric vehicle (EV) production.

Biden and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will announce the $2.8 billion worth of grants through the bipartisan infrastructure law passed last year at a White House event. The funding will be spread across 20 different companies for projects in at least 12 states. A senior administration official said the funding will lead to 8,000 new jobs, 5,000 of which are expected to be permanent.

The announcement will focus on two key efforts for Biden since taking office: strengthening supply chains and promoting the transition to a more climate-friendly economy.

The investments will allow U.S. manufacturers to process critical minerals like lithium and nickel that are used in battery production, guarding against supply chain disruptions, administration officials said. Those materials are particularly important in the production of electric vehicle batteries, as Biden has called for half of all vehicles to be electric by 2030.

“This market transformation is expected to increase demand for critical minerals such as lithium and graphite used in EV batteries,” the White House said in a fact sheet. “Today’s announcements demonstrate how the United States is poised to meet this challenge while growing our economy and creating high-quality union jobs in the battery supply chain.”

The grant money, which will be matched by private sector investments, is expected to lead to the development of enough lithium supply for 2 million electric vehicles annually; enough graphite supply for 1.2 million electric vehicles annually; and enough nickel supply for 400,000 electric vehicles annually.

The grants will be awarded to projects in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington state, the White House said.

Biden and Granholm are expected to meet virtually with representatives from the companies receiving the funding during Wednesday’s event.

In addition, the two leaders will announce the creation of the American Battery Materials Initiative, an effort that will “work with partners and allies to strengthen critical mineral supply chains globally, and it will leverage and maximize ongoing efforts throughout the U.S. government to meet resource requirements and bolster energy security.”

The initiative will be led by a White House steering committee in collaboration with the departments of Energy and Interior.

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