The White House is discussing adding battery materials to the list of items covered by the 1950 Defense Production Act to encourage domestic production of critical minerals for electric vehicles and other types of batteries.
Earlier, President Biden released a statement acknowledging that the electric vehicle maker VinFast will build an electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina, at a cost of $4 billion to create more than 7,000 jobs and hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles and batteries. This builds on recent announcements from companies like GM, Ford, and Siemens to invest in America again and create jobs. Ford is investing over $4 billion, to build two battery plants in Kentucky and one in Tennessee. In addition, a new assembly plant in Tennessee will build electric pickup trucks. The company previously announced an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck called the Lightning.
To that end, adding vital minerals like lithium, nickel, graphite, cobalt and manganese to the list could help mining companies access $750 million under the Defense Production Act’s Title III fund. Rather than loans or direct purchases for minerals, the directive would fund production at current operations, productivity, and safety upgrades, as well as feasibility studies. In addition to EV batteries, the directive also would apply to large-capacity batteries.
This plan comes a month after The US Departments of Transportation and Energy announced nearly $5 billion that will be made available under the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to build out a national electric vehicle charging network.
The program will provide nearly $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, particularly along the Interstate Highway System. The total amount available to states in Fiscal Year 2022 under the NEVI Formula Program is $615 million.