The US Department of Energy (DOE) has allocated $2.8bn to 20 companies to increase the domestic production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries and the supply of critical minerals required to make them.
This move forms part of the Biden administration’s plan to strengthen the country’s energy independence and stop imports of supplies from China.
The funding will help the companies construct and expand commercial-scale facilities.
Located across 12 US states, the facilities will be equipped to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, as well as manufacture components.
The energy department said the first set of projects, which will be funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, would expand domestic battery manufacturing for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid.
President Biden aims to make electric vehicles account for half of all new vehicle sales by 2030 and move to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm said: “Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles, creating more good-paying jobs across the country.”
Among the selected companies are Albemarle, which would receive $149.7m to build a North Carolina facility to lightly process rock containing lithium from a past-producing mine.
Piedmont Lithium was awarded $141.7m to build its $600m lithium processing facility in Tennessee to initially process the metal sourced from Quebec and Ghana.
In addition, Talon Metals was allocated $114.8m for the development of a processing plant in North Dakota to process rock extracted from its planned underground mine in Minnesota.
Syrah Resources was granted up to $220m to fund the potential expansion of the Vidalia active anode material facility in Louisiana, to a 45ktpa production capacity.
Some of the projects selected for the US grant also focus on processing and recycling critical minerals to support domestic manufacturing.
The latest funding forms the first phase of $7bn planned to be granted by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to boost the domestic battery supply chain.
The DOE anticipates moving quickly on additional funding opportunities to continue to fill gaps in and strengthen the domestic battery supply chain.