Biden Administration Gives EV Batteries A $3 Billion Boost

Electric Vehicles / 18 Comments

And we're not talking about faster charging.

The United States Government further solidified its stance on electric vehicles on Monday. The US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm said she will be "positioning the United States front and center in meeting the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our competitiveness and electrify our transportation system."

This announcement comes after Biden's trillion-dollar EV infrastructure plan went into effect last year. The new $3 billion program will offer grants to companies that both process and recycle EV batteries. The idea is to increase the US' own domestic battery manufacturing capabilities. Right now, we're very heavily dependent on China and other companies for materials like lithium, a key component in battery manufacturing.

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General Motors

The Department of Energy (DOE) says the initiative will help support the creation of new, retrofitted, and expanded commercial facilities for manufacturing. There's also going to be a separate $60 million going to support second-life applications for batteries after they've been used to power vehicles like the GMC Hummer EV. That will include new processes for recycling used batteries back into the battery supply chain.

"President Biden's historic investment in battery production and recycling will give our domestic supply chain the jolt it needs to become more secure and less reliant on other nations-strengthening our clean energy economy, creating good-paying jobs, and decarbonizing the transportation sector," said Granholm.

The DOE says it is working with domestic suppliers to prepare for a marked spike in demand for batteries and reports that the batteries are also getting cheaper. It says the cost of an electric car battery has fallen by more than 90% since 2008. In the long term, this will ideally result in better, cleaner, and cheaper batteries going into cars like the Mustang Mach E.

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General Motors

That $3 billion sum will be distributed to as many as 30 companies in the form of grants. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on which companies will be receiving those grants. With a number of American automakers working on more efficient battery technology, we can't imagine automakers like GM and Ford won't be seeing at least some of that cash come in. We can only hope that translates to better EVs for consumers.

Thankfully, the White House has also said these new measures, including the expansion of lithium mining, will not skirt around existing environmental or labor standards. Some brands have already faced negative press in that regard, with Rivian facing backlash regarding the ethics of its supply chain.

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