Reps Foster and Casten Discuss Electric Vehicle Investments – NBC Chicago

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in the United States at a time when lawmakers recognize the country should invest better in battery technology and its supply chain.

Representative Bill Foster (D-Illinois) conducted a field hearing in the suburb of Woodridge on Thursday to discuss the expected increase in demand for electric vehicle batteries over the next decade, while taking into account the implications for the metals needed to manufacture electric vehicle batteries.

“Lithium mining belongs to China because they’ve been wise enough to invest in it for the last decade and we haven’t been, and so we have to be careful and think strategically and not to get caught like that again as we move to newer and newer generations of batteries for all applications,” Foster said.

Foster added that it’s important to study not only whether the minerals or batteries exist in the United States, but also whether ways can be found to extract the metals without polluting and destroying the environment.

Energy experts also took part in the hearing and explained how more investment is needed to meet the challenge.

“We need to develop the talent that will allow the United States to transition successfully,” said Dr. Chibueze Amanchukwu of the University of Chicago.

According to Rep. Sean Casten (D-Illinois), Illinois is in a unique position to lead the development of electric vehicle batteries.

“We have supply bottlenecks, but man, what an opportunity when demand exceeds supply,” Casten said. “Entrepreneurs love it and it’s great to see entrepreneurs choosing to locate in Illinois.”

NBC Chicago

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