Updated News Around the World

U.S. Car Makers’ EV Plans Hinge on Made-in-America Batteries

U.S. Car Makers’ EV Plans Hinge on Made-in-America Batteries

Companies and the U.S. government are shelling out billions of dollars to establish a supply chain for batteries in North America, a manufacturing effort that is critical to the auto industry’s long-range plans to put more electric vehicles on the road.  

Batteries are the most expensive component in an electric vehicle, accounting for about one-third of its cost.

American electric-car makers traditionally haven’t assembled batteries themselves. They rely on a far-flung supply chain. The raw materials are mined primarily in countries such as Australia, China, Congo and Indonesia. Chemical processing, battery components and assembly are mostly done by Chinese companies.

Lithium, produced at this site in Nevada, is among the minerals that are crucial battery components.



Photo:

CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which provides incentives for North American-built batteries and penalizes car companies that source batteries abroad, is spurring a wave of new projects in the U.S.—from cell-making factories to new ventures to mine the raw materials.

In October, the Biden administration announced awards totaling $2.8 billion to about 20 companies in more than 10 states to help expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid. This funding was part of the infrastructure package passed in late 2021.

The money will go to projects that process lithium, graphite and other battery materials, manufacture components and demonstrate new approaches, such as producing components from recycled materials.

The projects will specialize in building up the supply of particular materials and components, with a goal of lowering U.S. battery manufacturers’ reliance on foreign supply chains. 

Breakdown of $2.8 billion in federal awards to U.S. companies in battery-supply chain

Solvay Specialty

Polymers USA

Material separation

and processing

American Battery Technology

Nevada, Utah and California

Solvay Specialty Polymers USA

American Battery Technology

Material separation

and processing

Nevada, Utah and California

Solvay Specialty Polymers USA

American Battery Technology

Material separation

and processing

Nevada, Utah and California

Solvay Specialty

Polymers USA

American Battery

Technology

Material separation and processing

Solvay Specialty

Polymers USA

American Battery

Technology

Material separation and processing

Assembling the battery cells that are embedded in vehicles is only one part of a process that typically involves multiple companies and can be geographically dispersed across continents. 

In the first step, mining companies extract raw materials such as lithium, nickel and other minerals, which have risen in value as demand for green energy grows. 

Then, other companies—often in other countries—process the minerals.

Next, other specialized companies build components such as anodes, cathodes, separators and electrolytes.

A fourth step involves the production of battery cells that house the components, including electronics and sensors that help manage a battery.

The specialized companies that make components such as anodes and cathodes are crucial to the industry’s growth in the U.S., according to Dr.

Kang Sun,

chief executive of

Amprius Technologies,

a battery-manufacturing company based in Fremont, Calif. Amprius is one of nearly two dozen U.S. companies awarded millions of dollars in federal funding to help strengthen the domestic supply chain. 

The company uses silicon nanowires in its anodes, instead of traditional graphite, to produce batteries it says have greater energy density than those with conventional anodes. It relies on foreign companies for other battery components.

Amprius is currently looking at potential locations for a new plant as the company seeks to expand production capacity and potentially supply more manufacturers, including companies that make electric vehicles. 

To understand the intricacies of battery manufacturing, let’s review the basics of a battery’s components and how they work.

How rechargeable batteries work

A chemical reaction causes positively charged ions (typically lithium ions) to flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrolyte. At the same time, negatively charged electrons move along the circuit providing electricity.

Negative

current

collector

Positive

current

collector

Sending energy into the battery from an external source of electricity reverses the chemical reaction. The positive ions return to the anode through the electrolyte and the electrons return through the circuit.

Negative

current

collector

Positive

current

collector

A chemical reaction causes positively charged ions (typically lithium ions) to flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrolyte. At the same time, negatively charged electrons move along the circuit providing electricity.

Sending energy into the battery from an external source of electricity reverses the chemical reaction. The positive ions return to the anode through the electrolyte and the electrons return through the circuit.

Negative

current

collector

Positive

current

collector

A chemical reaction causes positively charged ions (typically lithium ions) to flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrolyte. At the same time, negatively charged electrons move along the circuit providing electricity.

Sending energy into the battery from an external source of electricity reverses the chemical reaction. The positive ions return to the anode through the electrolyte and the electrons return through the circuit.

Negative

current

collector

Positive

current

collector

A chemical reaction causes positively charged ions (typically lithium ions) to flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrolyte. At the same time, negatively charged electrons move along the circuit providing electricity.

Sending energy into the battery from an external source of electricity reverses the chemical reaction. The positive ions return to the anode through the electrolyte and the electrons return through the circuit.

Negative

current

collector

Positive

current

collector

A chemical reaction causes positively charged ions (typically lithium ions) to flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrolyte. At the same time, negatively charged electrons move along the circuit providing electricity.

Sending energy into the battery from an external source of electricity reverses the chemical reaction. The positive ions return to the anode through the electrolyte and the electrons return through the circuit.

Car makers are forging joint ventures with battery producers to take advantage of federal incentives and gain firmer control over their supply chains.

Electric-vehicle makers in the U.S. typically haven’t assembled batteries themselves.



Photo:

JEFF KOWALSKY/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal broke down what new plants are in the works and where they are going.

Plans call for more than a dozen battery factories to be built in the next five years, with most located in the Midwest and South near existing assembly plants. While the projects represent a significant step forward in the U.S. effort to bring battery production stateside, these plants would rely on materials sourced abroad.

The North American auto industry is striving to put more electric vehicles on the road.



Photo:

Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

For all the latest Technology News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! NewsUpdate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.