The Biden administration has announced that it will reserve up to 3.5 billion dollars from the National Infrastructure Act to “boost domestic production of advanced batteries and battery materials nationwide.” The funding is coordinated by the Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) of the US Department of Energy.
Specifically, the new funding round announced “will create new, retrofitted, and expanded domestic facilities for battery-grade processed critical minerals, battery precursor materials, battery components, and cell and pack manufacturing.” Companies must submit the required concept papers by 9 January 2024, and the complete applications by 19 March 2024.
Battery materials, cells and packs are currently mainly manufactured abroad. The US Department of Energy states that the funding is also about increasing national security by reducing the United States’ dependence on critical minerals, battery materials, components and technologies from foreign companies that are of concern. Another focus is the creation of unionised jobs.
“Positioning the United States front and centre to meet the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our global competitiveness, maintain and create good-paying jobs, and strengthen our clean energy economy,” says US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “President Biden’s historic investments are giving the boost needed to build a robust domestic battery supply chain that is Made-in-America.”
The up to 3.5 billion dollars is already the second tranche made available for domestic battery production. In October 2022, the government issued 2.8 billion dollars to 20 companies following a call for funding launched in February 2022. In return, these companies built or expanded factories in twelve states. Among the recipients were companies such as Group14, Lilac Solutions, Sila Nanotechnologies, and Piedmont Lithium and Albemarle.