New projects announced by the Biden administration will support developing enough lithium to supply about 2 million EVs per year.  -  Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

New projects announced by the Biden administration will support developing enough lithium to supply about 2 million EVs per year.

Photo: Canva/Government Fleet

The Biden administration is awarding nearly $3 billion to boost domestic electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing.

The U.S. Department of Energy will award $2.8 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 20 manufacturing and processing companies for projects across 12 states.

American Battery Materials Initiative Launches

Additionally, President Joe Biden announced the American Battery Materials Initiative, a new effort to mobilize the entire U.S. government in securing a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for power, electricity, and EVs, according to a press release. The Administration reports that these actions will improve America’s energy independence, strengthen national security, support good-paying jobs across battery supply chains, and lower costs for working families. 

EV sales have tripled since the president took office in January 2021, according to the White House. That is expected to increase demand for critical minerals such as lithium and graphite used in EV batteries.

The funding for the selected projects will support:

  • Developing enough battery-grade lithium to supply approximately 2 million EVs annually.
  • Developing enough battery-grade graphite to supply approximately 1.2 million EVs annually.
  • Producing enough battery-grade nickel to supply approximately 400,000 EVs annually.
  • Installing the first large-scale, commercial lithium electrolyte salt (LiPF6) production facility in the United States.
  • Developing an electrode binder facility capable of supplying 45% of the anticipated domestic demand for binders for EV batteries in 2030.
  • Creating the first commercial scale domestic silicon oxide production facilities to supply anode materials for an estimated 600,000 EV batteries annually.
  • Installing the first lithium iron phosphate cathode facility in the United States.

All projects will develop enough lithium to supply more than two million EVs annually and establish significant domestic production of graphite and nickel.

An All-Electric Federal Fleet

In December 2021, the president signed an executive order directing the federal government to acquire 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035, including 100% zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027 — among other commitments to achieve zero emissions by 2050. Along with that announcement came the administration's goal to work with vehicle, battery, and charging equipment manufacturers and installers to transform the federal fleet into the largest zero-emission vehicle fleet in the nation.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS & Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act combined will invest more than $135 billion to build on the growing demand for EVs, including critical minerals sourcing and processing and battery manufacturing, the White House reported.

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