Energy Department awards $74M for battery recycling, reuse

Energy Department awards $74M for battery recycling, reuse
A charging cord for an electric vehicle is seen strung across a public sidewalk in San Francisco on Sept. 23, 2022. With inflation a top concern for voters, many Republican candidates are seeking to capitalize on Americans’ precarious financial situations heading into next week’s midterm elections to vilify a key component of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda: electric vehicles. Credit: AP Photo/Haven Daley, File

The Energy Department on Wednesday awarded nearly $74 million from the bipartisan infrastructure law for 10 projects to advance recycling and reuse of batteries for electric vehicles and other purposes.

The funding will go to academic and commercial applicants in seven states, including four in California. Other grant winners are in Nevada, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Indiana and Alabama.

The University of California-San Diego will receive $10 million to develop and scale-up technology to recycle , while Element Energy in Menlo Park, Calif., will receive $7.9 million for a wind-energy project in west Texas. The is working with Next Era Energy Resources to pursue commercial-scale technology to boost the second-life battery market for .

Sales of electric vehicles have skyrocketed in the past two years and are expected to continue rising under the $1 trillion infrastructure law signed last year and the climate-and-health law adopted in August.

"With demand for critical battery minerals, such as lithium and graphite, projected to increase by as much as 4,000% in the coming decades, this latest round of funding supports the recycling and reuse segment of the domestic battery supply chain,'' the Energy Department said. The projects should help accelerate battery production in America, mitigate battery supply chain disruptions and create good-paying jobs, officials said.

The announcement follows $2.8 billion in grants awarded last month to boost domestic manufacturing of EV batteries in 12 states. A total of 20 companies will receive grants for projects to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components and strengthen U.S. supply of critical minerals.

The announcements support President Joe Biden's goal for to make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030.

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