A government awards 20 grants in 12 states to boost domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and grids.
Seventy-five percent of battery manufacturing is done in China, but the U.S. wants to zap that.
As part of the Climate Bill passed in August, Congress authorized almost $370 billion over the next ten years to supercharge renewable energy production and drive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
A significant part of that investment is going towards extracting and processing lithium, graphite, and other battery materials, manufacturing batteries for EVs and the electric grid, and strengthening the U.S. supply of crucial minerals.
This week, President Biden announced that 20 companies in 12 states will receive grants totaling $2.8 billion to recharge a battery industry currently running on low power mode.
“Unfortunately, the U.S. is almost a non-player in the lithium game,” said Ryan Melsert, the CEO of American Battery Technology Company. “That’s less than 1 percent of all lithium products made globally are made within the U.S.”
Ryan’s company received a $57 million grant to work on new technology to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
Other Energy Department grant recipients include Albemarle Corp., Piedmont Lithium Inc., Entek, and Syrah Technologies.
“We fully expect the U.S. battery and EV markets to grow rapidly,” said grant recipient Kimberly Medford, president of Entek, a company that makes battery separators.