What new federal funding will imply for making batteries


In complete, there’s $2.8 billion for 20 initiatives throughout 19 corporations. (Ascend Parts, a recycling and refining firm, received two grants for 2 totally different steps of their course of, totaling practically 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 rather a lot right here that might rapidly have an effect on markets. 
  • There appears to be a give attention to lithium processing, with 4 corporations successful grants on this space. Nickel and graphite processing additionally made the listing. 
  • Firms making lithium iron phosphate batteries acquired 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 out to be much more vital since they don’t include cobalt, one of many metals that specialists are most fearful about. 
  • Silicon anodes received a few grants—these aren’t used broadly right this moment in EVs however might be coming quickly, and can possible assist push vary larger. (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 undertaking was already in progress, however the inflow of federal money actually helped velocity up the timeline, Melsert says. “We’re proud of the tailwinds now we have and the assist we’ve obtained,” he says. 

However ABTC remains 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 shall be centered largely on mining.

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

What’s subsequent

There’s loads more cash the place this funding got here from. Count on to see billions extra in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Regulation handed out to battery corporations 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!