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Biden earmarks $3.16 bn for battery manufacturing to end China’s dominance

Washington : In a bid to strengthen US’s energy independence and reduce its reliance on nations like China, the Joe Biden government has announced $3.1 billion from the ‘Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’ to make more batteries and components in America, bolster domestic supply chains and create good-paying jobs.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) also announced a separate $60 million to support second-life applications for batteries once used to power EVs, as well as new processes for recycling materials back into the battery supply chain.

As of March, more than 2.5 million plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in America, with more than 800,000 of those having been sold since Biden took office.

“Positioning the US front and centre in meeting the growing demand for advanced batteries is how we boost our competitiveness and electrify our transportation system,” US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said.

Battery costs have fallen more than 90 per cent and since 2008, energy density and performance have increased rapidly, paving the way for an accelerated transition to zero-emission vehicles, the DoE said in a statement late on Monday.

Domestic sourcing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries – such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite – “will help avoid or mitigate supply chain disruptions and accelerate battery production in America to meet this demand and support the adoption of electric vehicles”, it added.

Biden’s goal is to have electric vehicles make up to half of all vehicle sales in the US by 2030.

“For too long, other countries have been outpacing the United States in funding new technologies. We are at a critical moment in our competition to build the next generation of electric vehicles and batteries here in America,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (Michigan).

The ‘Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’ directs more than $7 billion to strengthen the US battery supply chain, which includes producing and recycling critical minerals without new extraction or mining and sourcing materials for domestic manufacturing.

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