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Administration Makes Moves to Build a U.S. Lithium-Ion Battery Industry

Developing a stronger domestic battery industry is a way for the U.S. to become less reliant on foreign imports of EV batteries, according to POLITICO Pro (subscription).

Why it matters: As the demand for electric vehicles grows, the global market for EV batteries is expected to triple by 2025. Right now, the U.S. only has 8% of global capacity to make EV size batteries while China has 76%.

China far ahead: Since 2015, China has invested nearly $100 billion in lithium-ion batteries, used huge government subsidies to improve its domestic supply chain and made significant investments overseas to shore up its supply of elements necessary for battery production, including nickel, cobalt, graphite and lithium.

New effort guided by federal agencies: The Biden administration has tasked the departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce and State with helping to build a domestic supply chain for the manufacturing of EV batteries. The agencies together will be called the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries.

Building a workforce: A significant feature of the U.S. battery campaign will be to develop a large and skilled workforce that will help fill the current gaps in U.S. battery production.

First steps: “DOE will hold two two-day webinars on advanced batteries at its laboratories in Berkeley, Calif., and at its Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago to build more support from universities and companies and in Congress for a U.S.-based supply line for lithium-ion battery production.”

The NAM says: “The last few days have highlighted the importance of energy security and diversification of supply, and that lesson is just as important as we work to deploy more EVs and new technologies,” NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones explained. “Manufacturers understand this and have been urging policymakers to prioritize not only the manufacturing of batteries, but also the mining and processing of the critical minerals essential to any energy transitions.” 

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