The Biden administration has set a goal of having 50 percent of new cars sold by 2030 be electric vehicles. To get there it has begun distributing funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to encourage domestic battery production.
“Today, President Biden is announcing that the Department of Energy is awarding $2.8 billion in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 20 manufacturing and processing companies for projects across 12 states,” the White House said, in a fact sheet about the credits.
The White House also announced the American Battery Materials Initiative, which was described as “a new effort to mobilize the entire government in securing a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for power, electricity, and electric vehicles (EVs).”
They went on to describe how it will work.
“To further accelerate efforts to secure the supply chain for the critical minerals and materials needed for advanced batteries, this Initiative will coordinate White House and agency attention to implement the President’s critical mineral strategy, align ongoing work on critical mineral supply chains, coordinate community and industry engagement, help guide research, grants, and loans supporting environmentally responsible critical minerals extraction, processing, and recycling, and aid diplomatic efforts to build reliable and sustainable global supply chains,” the White House said.
“The Initiative will also strengthen federal engagement, partnership, and consultation with the private sector, state, Tribal, and local governments, environmental and environmental justice leaders, and labor unions to more effectively marshal resources, ensure the concerns of Tribes and local communities are heard and addressed earlier in the planning process, and reflect our nation’s commitment to high environmental, social, and labor standards.”
The 50 percent goal by 2030 is a goal, not a mandate, although states like California have mandated a phase-out of gas-powered cars by a certain date. In August, California formalized a rule to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Other states, such as Washington and New York, have announced plans to pursue similar mandates.
“Once again California is leading the nation and the world with a regulation that sets ambitious but achievable targets for ZEV sales. Rapidly accelerating the number of ZEVs on our roads and highways will deliver substantial emission and pollution reductions to all Californians, especially for those who live near roadways and suffer from persistent air pollution,” California Air Resources Board Chair Liane Randolph said in August.
“The regulation includes ground-breaking strategies to bring ZEVs to more communities and is supported by the Governor’s ZEV budget which provides incentives to make ZEVs available to the widest number of economic groups in California, including low- and moderate-income consumers,” she concluded.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.