US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on climate change and protecting national forests on Earth Day at Seward Park in Seattle, Washington on April 22, 2022.
Jonathan Ernest | Reuters
The Biden administration announced on Monday that it would launch a $3.1 billion plan to boost domestic battery manufacturing, in a broader effort to transition the country from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles.
Electrification of the transportation sector will be key to mitigating human-induced climate change. The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately one-third of emissions each year.
The funding will support grants to build, retool or expand battery and battery component manufacturing, as well as establish battery recycling facilities, according to the Department of Energy. The grants will be funded through President Joe Biden’s bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure act, which includes more than $7 billion to bolster the country’s battery supply chain.
The move comes after the president invoked the Defense Production Act in April to encourage domestic production of minerals needed to make batteries for electric vehicles and long-term energy storage. The order could help companies receive federal funding for feasibility studies on projects that mine materials for electric vehicle production, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese.
“These made-in-America batteries are going to help reduce emissions and create opportunity across the country,” White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said in a call with reporters on Monday.
The White House, which has set a goal of 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030, is also working to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations and create tax incentives for consumers who buy electric vehicles. The administration has also pledged to replace its federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks with electricity by 2035.
The United States is the world’s third largest market for electric vehicles, behind China and Europe. According to market research firm Canalys, only 4% of new cars sold in the United States last year were electric.
“By positioning the United States at the forefront to meet growing demand for advanced batteries, we are strengthening our competitiveness and electrifying our transportation system,” US Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said Monday in a statement. communicated.