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The EV Battery Boom Is Here, With Manufacturers Investing Billions in Midwest Factories

By Dan Gearino

Last week, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the headquarters of Our Next Energy, a battery manufacturing startup in Novi, a Detroit suburb.
This is an increasingly common scene as demand for electric vehicles is leading to an expansion of U.S. battery manufacturing on a scale so large that it’s almost difficult to comprehend.

10/27/22
                                                               

Elon Musk says a lithium shortage is holding back Tesla. His solution? Building a lithium refinery in Texas

By Sean O' Kane Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar, Getty Images

Tesla is moving forward with plans to build a lithium refinery on the Texas Gulf Coast in a bid to gain more control over the supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.
Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk confirmed the move Wednesday on a conference call in answer to an analyst’s question on progress developing the company’s new 4680 battery cell technology.
The Austin, Texas-based company has been weighing the project for months, as Bloomberg News previously reported, but had been considering at least one other site in Louisiana. The company has told state regulators it plans to build a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility near Corpus Christi that would process raw ore material into something more production-ready.

10/20/22
                                                               

Biden-Harris Administration Awards $2.8 Billion to Supercharge U.S. Manufacturing of Batteries for Electric Vehicles and Electric Grid

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. 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.

10/19/22
                                                               

Lithium prices putting pressure on electric vehicle costs

By Nathan Bomey

Lithium prices have more than quadrupled over the last year as the rush from automakers to produce electric vehicles gains momentum.
Why it matters: The spike in prices for raw lithium — a key material used in batteries — is fueling a rise in the price of EVs, hampering their appeal to consumers already dealing with inflation elsewhere.

09/22/22
                                                               

Lithium: Storing more clean power with less pollution

By Peter Sinclair

The renewable energy revolution will require the world to ratchet-up lithium production to make batteries for electric cars and devices. As with all mining, there are concerns about lithium mines, but some experts overstate the potential environmental cost while neglecting to mention a big advantage: mining for lithium is much cleaner than mining for coal.

Lithium is also much more efficient. Jim Krane, PhD, who teaches energy policy and geopolitics at Rice University, has crunched the numbers. “Over 20 years,” he said, “the same amount of mining would give you five times as much power if you did the mining for wind rather than coal.” Not to mention that using lithium to store renewable energy will slash or possibly eliminate the need to mine coal.

09/15/22
                                                               
WSJ

Tesla Looking Into Building Lithium Refinery

By Dean Seal Photo: Jay Jenner, Associated Press

Tesla Inc. TSLA 1.58%▲ is looking into constructing a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility that could support its electric-vehicle battery production.
The car maker said in a form to the Texas Comptroller’s Office that it is looking to construct a plant with access to the Gulf Coast shipping channel, and is considering potential sites in Texas and Louisiana.

09/09/22
                                                               

Crab and lobster shells could be used to make renewable batteries

By Sofia Quaglia Photo: Eric Risberg, AP

Scientists want to use a chemical found in crab and lobster shells to make batteries more sustainable, according to research.
“We think both biodegradability of material, or environmental impact, and the performance of the batteries are important for a product, which has the potential to be commercialised,” said Liangbing Hu, the director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Materials Innovation and lead author of the paper, published in the journal Matter.

09/01/22
                                                               

California’s Lithium Rush For EV Batteries Hinges On Taming Toxic, Volcanic Brine

By Alan Ohnsman

Wander the unpaved, dusty, rural roads southeast of California’s troubled Salton Sea on a baking, 112-degree Fahrenheit August afternoon and two things soon stand out. Improbably, this desert-adjacent part of the Golden State is a productive agricultural region loaded with alfalfa and hay fields, made possible by the All American Canal bringing in Colorado River water. The stark landscape is also dotted with rusty, steampunk structures — geothermal plants cranking out enough clean electricity to power nearly 70,000 homes.

08/31/22
                                                               

The Department of Energy wants feedback on how to recycle lithium-ion batteries

By Justine Calma Photo: Akio Kon, Getty Images

The Department of Energy just took a first step toward launching new lithium-ion battery recycling programs in the US. It issued a Request for Information (RFI) yesterday to ask for public input on how to spend $335 million in federal investments for battery recycling that was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year.

08/30/22