Biden Admiration Want To Rival China In EV Battery Production With $2.8 Billion Grant
The Biden administration announced on Wednesday 19 October 2022 that it has awarded a $2.8 billion grant to 20 companies in 12 states to boost the production of EV batteries in the United States. Also, the fund will help in the creation of battery-grade materials like nickel, graphite, and lithium.
This is part of the initiative launched by the White House which was dubbed the American Battery Manufacturing Initiative. The White House hopes that the initiative will strengthen America’s critical mineral supply chains as automakers sprint to expand EV and battery production.
The grants will be allocated through the United States Department of Energy using the funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Becoming one of the leading EV battery manufacturers has always been one of the Biden administration’s top priorities.
The Wednesday announcement brings the total allocation of Biden’s administration towards EV manufacturing so far to over $135 billion. These allocations have come from the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
President Biden has directed automakers in the United States to make EVs or plug-in hybrid EV models account for 50% of their new vehicles by 2030. The president also acknowledges that battery is a key component of the EV industry.
“The Infrastructure Law is critically important because the future of vehicles is electric,” Biden said. “However, 75% of battery production happens in China.”
The push for America to be a leading EV battery manufacturer
Two of the leading manufacturing and processing companies that have won the grant from the U.S. Energy Department are Piedmont Lithium Inc (PLL.O) and Albemarle Corp (ALB.N). They have been charged with using the funds for the development of ample battery-grade lithium, nickel, and graphite as well as becoming the first large-scale commercial lithium electrolyte salt production facility.
According to a statement from the White House, the project will include the production of battery material, cell components, processing, and recycling. Furthermore, the fund will be used for the development of electrode binder facilities with the ability to supply up to 45% of the expected demand by 2030, the first lithium-ion phosphate cathode facility, and the first commercial-scale silicon oxide production facility.
With the current trade war between China and the United States, Biden is doing everything possible to avoid a situation where the United States will be dependent on China for EV components. This sentiment was echoed in a White House statement sighted by Reuters.
“China controls a bulk of the crucial mineral supply chain,” the White House statement read. “The lack of mining, processing, and recycling capacity in the United States could hamper the production and adoption of EVs which will leave the United States dependent on the foreign supply chain.
According to Biden, “China’s battery technology is not more innovative than others”. The president added that the United States “research universities, national labs, and automakers pioneered battery development in America”.
However, he noted China monopolized a “significant part of the market by undercutting Unites States manufacturers through unfair trade practices and subsidies”.
The American Battery Manufacturing Initiative
Apart from the $2.8 billion grant, Biden also made public the creation of the American Manufacturing Initiative that will give the government a full approach to battery production for various uses including batteries for EVs and defense home purposes.
The new initiative will continue to drive for increased American competitiveness through the creation of more batteries as well as critical components for the batteries in the United States. Biden said the United States was experiencing an “economic transition at a scale never seen since the Industrial Revolution.”
President Biden’s announcement on Wednesday opens a new chapter that may change the dynamics of EV production in the United States. One thing is clear in the foreseeable future, China’s dominance in EV battery production may soon end.