What new federal funding will imply for making batteries


In complete, there’s $2.8 billion for 20 tasks throughout 19 firms. (Ascend Components, a recycling and refining firm, gained two grants for 2 completely different steps of their course of, totaling almost half a billion {dollars}.) 

Right here’s what caught out to me concerning the awards: 

  • The funding is essentially for commercialization, not analysis, so there’s quite a bit right here that might rapidly have an effect on markets. 
  • There appears to be a deal with lithium processing, with 4 firms profitable grants on this space. Nickel and graphite processing additionally made the checklist. 
  • Firms making lithium iron phosphate batteries obtained a few grants. This chemistry is a lower-cost, barely lower-performance model of lithium-ion batteries. These are a rising a part of the market and will change into much more vital since they don’t include cobalt, one of many metals that consultants are most apprehensive about. 
  • Silicon anodes gained a few grants—these aren’t used broadly immediately in EVs however might be coming quickly, and can seemingly assist push vary greater. (Extra on that tech right here.)

One winner

After the announcement, I spoke with Ryan Melsert, CEO of American Battery Expertise Firm (ABTC). ABTC is a battery supplies firm working each on battery recycling and on a brand new methodology of lithium extraction and refining. 

The corporate obtained about $58 million to construct a commercial-sized lithium processing facility in Nevada. The venture was already in progress, however the inflow of federal money actually helped pace up the timeline, Melsert says. “We’re proud of the tailwinds we’ve and the assist we’ve obtained,” he says. 

However ABTC continues to be looking out for much more funding alternatives, particularly to assist their mining actions, Melsert says. He has his eyes on the Protection Manufacturing Act, which President Biden enacted earlier this 12 months to assist battery provide within the US and will probably be centered largely on mining.

It’s not all concerning the cash although. “I believe there are nonetheless extra hurdles to undergo,” Melsert says. The allowing course of particularly might be a barrier to its and different new mining tasks. 

What’s subsequent

There’s loads extra money the place this funding got here from. Count on to see billions extra in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation handed out to battery firms within the coming months. 

There’s additionally funding from the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Discount Act, and the Protection Manufacturing Act coming. It’s like local weather tech Christmas! 


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