The U.S. government will provide $209 million in funding for 26 new laboratory electric vehicle battery research projects, and is taking steps to bolster the domestic lithium battery supply chain.
The research projects will focus on electric vehicles, advanced batteries, and connected vehicles. The Dept. of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, meanwhile, announced the ‘Li-Bridge’, a public-private partnership to bridge gaps in the domestic lithium battery supply chain.
“President Biden’s Administration wants to make it easier for millions of American families and businesses to make the switch to electric vehicles,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “By developing smarter vehicle batteries, we can make these technologies cheaper and more accessible, while positioning America to be become a global leader of EV infrastructure production and clean energy jobs.”
The demand for electric vehicles has never been higher. Government leaders see the elimination of internal combustion vehicles as a crucial step to reduce global emissions and slow the effects of climate change.
But the limited availability of raw materials used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries — the primary power source for electric vehicles — complicates the transition. That’s on top of serious environmental and labor concerns.
The research projects funded by the Dept. of Energy will address the cost and size of next-generation battery technology, fast charging EV infrastructure advancements, potential grid impacts of EV charging, and cooperative vehicle-to-vehicle communications and controls that reduce energy use and emissions.