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 totally 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 basically for commercialization, not analysis, so there’s loads right here that might shortly have an effect on markets. 
  • There appears to be a give attention to lithium processing, with 4 firms successful grants on this space. Nickel and graphite processing additionally made the checklist. 
  • Firms making lithium iron phosphate batteries received 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 turn into much more essential since they don’t comprise cobalt, one of many metals that consultants are most anxious about. 
  • Silicon anodes gained a few grants—these aren’t used extensively as we speak in EVs however may very well 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 Know-how Firm (ABTC). ABTC is a battery supplies firm working each on battery recycling and on a brand new technique of lithium extraction and refining. 

The corporate acquired about $58 million to construct a commercial-sized lithium processing facility in Nevada. The undertaking was already in progress, however the inflow of federal money actually helped pace up the timeline, Melsert says. “We’re pleased with the tailwinds we now have and the assist we’ve acquired,” 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 yr to assist battery provide within the US and will likely be targeted 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 specifically may very well be a barrier to its and different new mining tasks. 

What’s subsequent

There’s lots more cash the place this funding got here from. Anticipate 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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