Acculon Energy

Made in the USA: Empowering American Industry via Battery Initiatives

As we celebrate Independence Day this week, the US is poised to assert its independence in an increasingly vital commercial sector: battery technology. Come along as we delve into the core strategies driving America’s charge toward leadership in battery technology!

Contact: Betsy Barry
Communication Manager

The American battery initiatives are a set of strategies and strategic investments introduced by President Biden’s administration as a part of the Infrastructure Law and intended to boost domestic production of advanced batteries and bolster the US supply chains for critical minerals, particularly those essential for manufacturing batteries. The United States recognizes the battery industry as a fundamental driver of economic competitiveness, decarbonization efforts, and national security. Acknowledging its comparative lag behind leading regions such as Europe and China, the current administration has outlined a multifaceted strategy aimed at narrowing this gap and assuming a leadership position in battery technology.

The current strategy of the U.S. government for its domestic battery industry follows a dual approach of stimulating demand and bolstering supply. To spur demand, the Biden administration is focused on accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and utility-scale energy storage. This entails a mix of federal and state-level initiatives, including tax credits and regulatory measures aimed at incentivizing EVs. 

Historically tax credits for EV buyers have been pivotal in spurring consumers to purchase EVs, with recent proposals under the Build Back Better Act aiming to expand these incentives significantly. Additionally, the administration has set ambitious targets for zero-emission vehicle sales and is investing in infrastructure to support electrification and EV adoption, such as funding for EV chargers and electrifying public transit.

There is also a concerted effort to decarbonize the power sector, which will drive up demand for grid energy storage solutions. The government is leveraging tax incentives and infrastructure spending to encourage the deployment of grid battery storage, with plans to include energy storage in clean energy investment tax credits.

On the supply side, ensuring a secure and sustainable supply chain for critical minerals is a priority. The recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocates funding for mapping critical minerals and enhancing U.S. capacity in their extraction, reflecting a broader push for supply chain resilience.

Overall, the scope of the initiatives aims to reduce reliance on foreign sources, enhance domestic production, and secure the supply of key minerals needed to power various industries: the suite of initiatives could reshape the US battery industry over the next decade. Some key components and objectives include:

Recognizing the pivotal role of the battery industry in economic competitiveness, decarbonization, & national security, the American battery initiatives mark a determined effort to close the gap between the U.S. & global leaders like Europe & China.

Boosting Domestic Production
: Efforts to boost domestic extraction of minerals like cobalt, nickel, and lithium are being pursued, alongside investments in research and development to find substitutes and improve recycling processes. The battery initiatives emphasize an increase in domestic production of critical minerals to reduce dependency on imports. Manufacturing is another focal point, with initiatives aimed at revitalizing US onshoring and production capabilities on US soil. This includes tax credits and grant programs to support battery manufacturing and material processing, alongside measures to incentivize U.S.-owned entities and enhance financing options through institutions like the Export-Import Bank and the DOE’s Loan Program Office. 

Several states have implemented policies to attract battery manufacturing and related industries. Economic development incentives, along with the creation of innovation clusters around research centers, are being utilized to foster local battery supply chain hubs.

Research and Development: The initiatives allocate resources towards research and development efforts focused on advancing battery technologies and processes to decrease dependence on Chinese production. This broadly includes R&D aimed at improving battery performance, durability, safety, and sustainability. Innovation is also central to the strategy, with a focus on developing next-generation battery technologies and reducing dependency on critical materials. Research efforts are underway to eliminate cobalt and nickel in batteries, while initiatives like the Energy Storage Grand Challenge aim to drive down costs and increase performance.

Investments in Infrastructure: The battery initiatives include investments in infrastructure to support the entire battery supply chain, from mineral extraction to battery manufacturing by way of increasing incentives and public financing for stakeholders and manufacturers. This aspect of the initiatives also involves building new facilities/factories, upgrading existing infrastructure, and developing transportation networks through a range of incentives at the state and federal levels. 

Public-Private Partnerships: Collaboration between government agencies, private companies, research institutions, and academia is essential for the success of the battery initiatives and the Infrastructure Law, generally. Public-private partnerships facilitate knowledge sharing, technology transfer, and investment in critical areas. Funding opportunities through the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office, for example, are published continually, offering the private sector a variety of possible avenues for research, development, and deployment of advanced battery technologies. 

Environmental and Social Responsibility: The initiatives prioritize environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices in mineral extraction and battery manufacturing. This includes promoting recycling and responsible sourcing to minimize environmental impact and ensure ethical labor practices. When taken in tandem with the EU’s new stringent battery policies, sustainability is top-of-mind in the context of battery-related laws and regulations. 

Job Creation and Economic Growth: By investing in the domestic battery supply chain, the ABI aims to create new job opportunities and stimulate economic growth in regions with mineral resources and manufacturing capabilities.

The American Battery Initiatives represent a comprehensive approach to strengthening the United States’ position in the global battery market while addressing strategic and economic concerns related to critical mineral supply chains. Here at Acculon Energy, we are committed to doing our part to bring advanced manufacturing back to US soil, while promoting optimized energy storage solutions to power a range of commercial and industrial markets. By fostering innovation, investment, and collaboration, we aim to do our part in securing a more sustainable and competitive advantage in the growing clean energy economy in the US.