The White House has just announced another $3.5 billion in funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that took effect two years ago to expand and strengthen domestic battery production in the United States.
According to the press release, this new round of funding signifies the second part of the total $6 billion allocation from the program that substantially aided its initial applicants last year.
The Department of Energy plans to employ four funding rounds for the new package, including a $50 million minimum federal grant and a $300 million maximum.
The agency is expected to release the successful applications in August 2024, as indicated by Electrek.
This new $3.5 billion package primarily aims to boost the US’ capability to extract and process critical battery minerals. These include the following:
- silane gas production for battery precursors
- lithium extraction in both hard-rock and brine mining operations
- rare earth metals extraction
It also intends to prioritize the production of recycling of batteries used in electric vehicles. The funding will aid various projects involving various battery cells and chemistry development, like next-gen solid-state batteries and parts. The fund will cover both pilot and commercial-scale battery projects.
The Biden-Harris Administration expects the new funding round to significantly expand the country’s domestic battery supply chain and cut its heavy reliance on Chinese components.
In addition, the following are the expected outcomes from this $3.5 billion funding, as indicated by the DOE:
- “Ensuring that the United States has a competitive battery materials processing industry to supply the North American battery supply chain.
- Expanding the capabilities of the United States in advanced battery manufacturing.
- Enhancing national security by reducing the reliance of the United States on critical minerals, battery materials, components, and technologies from foreign entities of concern.
- Advancing the domestic processing capacity of minerals necessary for battery materials and advanced batteries.
- Support the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to underserved and overburdened communities (in accordance with the Justice40 Initiative).
- Provide workforce opportunities to low- and moderate-income communities.”
The US Government’s new funding is part of its wider effort to advance its battery production capacity amid the widespread shift to electric vehicles.
Notably, it is crucial for the country, as it still lags behind China in terms of battery manufacturing.
The necessary concept papers are due to the Department of Energy by January 9, 2024. Meanwhile, full applications must be submitted by March 19, 2024. You can access the official press release on the funding here.