Lithium-based batteries are becoming increasingly important for various commercial and industrial end-users in the US, spanning a diverse range of markets – from electric vehicles (EVs) to energy storage, to aviation and marine, to remote power and industrial applications. The Biden Administration climate crisis agenda, which aims for carbon-free electricity generation by 2035, places the US on the path of net zero emissions by 2050, and ensures that demand for advanced eco-friendly batteries across sectors will continue to grow. However, the challenge of creating a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry in the US has been described as immense. This would involve meeting projected demand, ensuring that the US has access to critical materials used in batteries, and creating relevant jobs on US soil. At the same time, other countries are in the stages of establishing vertical battery manufacturing supply chains, underpinned by national strategies; for example, the EU’s Strategic Action Plan on Batteries and China’s Made in China 2025 strategy. Establishing a new strategic industry In order to focus investments on creating a domestic lithium-ion battery manufacturing value chain, the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) published the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries in 2021. Its five key goals are to
- secure access to raw and refined materials, and discover alternatives for critical minerals for commercial and defence applications
- support the growth of US battery materials processing
- establish manufacturing across the value chain, including electrode, cell, and pack sectors
- enable end-of-life reuse and critical materials recycling at scale
- maintain and advance US battery technology leadership and innovation.