The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $200 million in funding to support new vehicle development, both in EVs and connected vehicles, as well as the battery supply chain.
Every segment of the battery supply chain is under focus in this project, reaching from sustainable mining and processing to manufacturing and recycling. The DOE says the funds will lead to thousands of new jobs across the country and will aid the U.S. effort to being a global leader at each level of the storage supply chain.
The U.S. currently depends on the import of advanced battery components, which leaves the nation exposed to supply chain vulnerabilities already being experienced by the solar industry.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced the funds in a recent roundtable, pointing to the newly published National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030 as the guiding force behind the investment.
Developed by the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB), the blueprint highlights a need for teamwork between the federal government, academic institutions, national laboratories, industry stakeholders, and international allies. Its vision for 2030 is the establishment of a secure battery materials and technology supply chain that supports long-term U.S. economic competitiveness and equitable job creation, increased decarbonization, the advancement of social justice, and the support of national security.
The lithium battery blueprint lists five goals to achieve its vision. First, to secure access to raw and refined materials and discover alternates for critical minerals. Second, to support the growth of a United States material-processing base to meet domestic battery demand. Third, to the nation’s electrode, cell, and pack manufacturing sectors. Fourth, to enable end-of-life reuse and recycling at scale. And fifth, to advance U.S. battery technology leadership through the support of R&D, STEM education, and workforce development.
EV and connected vehicle funding
The funding also seeks to make electric vehicle innovations in order to decarbonize the transportation sector, which is currently the largest culprit in carbon emissions nationwide.
This additional funding adds on to the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office’s (VTO) $62 million package for reducing emissions and increasing efficiencies for on- and off-road vehicles announced this April.
The VTO will support expansion of EV infrastructure and charging and host community-level EV demonstrations that can lower barriers to EV adoption. Such demonstrations include piloting EV car-sharing and installing EV charging within multi-unit housing, among others.
All project submissions must include a diversity, equity, and inclusion report, addressing underrepresented groups in STEM, advancing equity within the project team, and producing benefits for underserved communities.