WASHINGTON, DC — The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced the first set of projects funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrical grid and for materials and components currently imported from other countries. The 20 companies will receive a combined $2.8 billion to build and expand commercial-scale facilities in 12 states to extract and process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components, and demonstrate new approaches, including manufacturing components from recycled materials. Three new battery component processing and manufacturing facilities are coming to Chattanooga, Clarksville and McMinn County and will receive more than $500 million to help Tennessee expand its role as a manufacturing powerhouse.
The federal investment will be matched by recipients to leverage a total of more than $9 billion to boost American production of clean energy technology, create good-paying jobs, and support President Biden’s national goals for electric vehicles to make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030 and to transition to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
“This is truly a remarkable time for manufacturing in America, as President Biden’s Agenda and historic investments supercharge the private sector to ensure our clean energy future is American-made,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles, creating more good-paying jobs across the country.”
Although plug-in EV sales have tripled since President Biden took office, the U.S. depends on foreign sources for many of the processed versions of critical minerals needed to produce electric vehicle batteries. Since coming into office, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken swift action to secure a reliable and sustainable battery supply chain. Today’s grants are a critical next step in that strategy. The funded projects announced today include U.S. processing and recycling of critical minerals to support domestic manufacturing. Responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing of the critical materials used to make lithium-ion batteries—such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite—will strengthen the American supply chain, accelerate battery production to meet increased demand, and secure the nation’s economic competitiveness, energy independence, and national security.
Tennessee Project Summaries
Novonix will build a new plant producing 30,000 metric tons per year of graphite for the EV industry to reduce U.S. reliance on importing this key battery component material. The project includes significant involvement with and support for NAM’s local community in Chattanooga. It will directly create 1,400 clean-energy, good-paying jobs while demonstrating our commitment to community engagement, innovative workforce development programming, and active recruitment among traditionally marginalized communities.
Microvast plans to build a separator facility in Tennessee intended to supply 19 GWh of EV batteries, including to our 2 GWh battery plant in Clarkesville, as well as other cell manufacturers in the United States. The company plans to partner with local governments, universities, and community groups to develop a pipeline for hiring and training workers and will engage these stakeholders to ensure the broader Clarksville community is enhanced. Microvast hopes to hire fresh graduates from the region and support continuing education, particularly for historically disadvantaged communities in the area, to ensure the facility positively impacts the entire region.
Piedmont Lithium plans to invest approximately $600 million in the development of Tennessee Lithium, drive significant economic activity, and create approximately 120 new, direct jobs. Further, Piedmont plans to partner with local organizations and community stakeholders to support necessary training programs for local employees and contribute to philanthropic and civic efforts in the region. Tennessee is home to a hardworking, talented workforce and a welcoming business climate. The location also features proximity to battery and automotive plants being constructed by prospective customers as well as Piedmont’s corporate headquarters and planned Carolina Lithium project in North Carolina.
The funding for the selected projects will support:
Developing enough battery-grade lithium to supply approximately 2 million EVs annually
Developing enough battery-grade graphite to supply approximately 1.2 million EVs annually
Producing enough battery-grade nickel to supply approximately 400,000 EVs annually
Installing the first large-scale, commercial lithium electrolyte salt (LiPF6) production facility in the United States
Developing an electrode binder facility capable of supplying 45% of the anticipated domestic demand for binders for EV batteries in 2030
Creating the first commercial scale domestic silicon oxide production facilities to supply anode materials for an estimated 600,000 EV batteries annually
Installing the first lithium iron phosphate cathode facility in the United States
Currently, virtually all lithium, graphite, battery-grade nickel, electrolyte salt, electrode binder, and iron phosphate cathode material are produced from abroad, and China controls the supply chains for many of these key inputs.
Workforce and Community Engagement
DOE evaluated applications on technical merits and contributions to increasing American production of advanced battery components, as well as on applicants’ commitments to deliver benefits for communities and workers. The companies submitted plans for engagement with local stakeholders, Tribal nations, environmental groups, and labor unions to ensure the funded projects create high-quality jobs; advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and contribute meaningfully to the Justice40 initiative to provide 40% of the overall benefits of federal clean energy investments to disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.
Of the 20 companies selected, five will build new facilities in disadvantaged communities, and 15 in locations adjacent to disadvantaged communities. Additionally, six announced projects have established goals for hiring residents of disadvantaged communities into permanent roles, and 13 included commitments to negotiate Workforce and Community Agreements. These agreements are focused on engagement with host communities, labor unions, and/or Tribal entities, to agree on community benefits and implementation plans. At least two funded projects have collective bargaining agreements for both construction and ongoing production jobs, and an additional nine projects have committed to labor neutrality, with two applicants already pursuing Project Labor Agreements with unions representing their workers.
The funded projects will help employ workers from many different construction and industrial unions and 15 of the projects will collaborate with minority serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to hire and train workers. The new and expanded facilities funded through these awards are expected to cumulatively support more than 8,000 jobs, including 5,000 permanent jobs.
The funding announced today is the first phase of $7 billion in total provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strengthen the domestic battery supply chain by supporting upstream materials processing to create the precursor materials for batteries. DOE anticipates moving quickly on additional funding opportunities to continue to fill gaps in and strengthen the domestic battery supply chain.
DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) is responsible for strengthening and securing manufacturing and energy supply chains needed to modernize the nation’s energy infrastructure and support a clean and equitable energy transition. MESC will manage the portfolio of projects with support from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office.