America’s electric vehicle battery and component makers have just received another boost from the U.S. government. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $3.1 billion in funding to bolster investment in electric vehicle infrastructure.
The funding was announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and will assist in creating new, retrofitted, and expanded commercial facilities. It will also improve domestic supply chains, promote battery recycling, and generate additional jobs.
In a separate $60 million funding, DOE will provide re-use applications for EV batteries and new systems to recycle the materials back into the supply chain. The administration has set a goal to have half of the vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030 to be electric.
This funding is part of a more significant $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law at the end of 2021 with bipartisan support. Under this act, $7 billion would be allocated to investments in energy transition initiatives through 2028.
These include the development of clean hydrogen fuel, vehicle electrification, energy storage, battery manufacture, recycling infrastructure, and carbon removal technologies.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who was a member of the core group of 10 Senators who negotiated the infrastructure package, said, “Energy storage technology holds such great promise in the fight against climate change. By strengthening current technology and advancing next-generation energy storage, we can integrate more renewables, such as wind and solar, which in turn will help to reduce emissions.”
According to DOE, more than 2.5 million plug-in EVs were sold in the U.S. at the end of March 2022. Battery costs have declined by 90% since 2008, while battery efficiency and performance have surged. The investments will allow for the production and recycling of critical minerals without new extraction or mining, creating a fully domestic battery supply chain. Lithium-battery minerals include lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite.
Forty percent of the benefits from government investment in clean energy and climate projects are expected to flow to low-income and other disadvantaged communities. The National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, developed by the Federal Consortium of Advanced Batteries in June of last year, outlines the investments needed to create a domestic lithium-battery manufacturing value chain. The goal is to create clean-energy manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and promote sustainability initiatives.
Another supporter of the bipartisan infrastructure law, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), noted that, “Expanding our electric vehicle charging network means cleaner travel and new good-paying jobs,” which he said would help America “rebuild” economically.