As electric vehicles (EVs) have grown increasingly popular, so has the push to improve their supply chains. The latest movement in this trend comes as the Department of Energy (DOE) grants a $375 million loan to Li-Cycle, a lithium battery recycling company.
Even outside of recycling, U.S. lithium battery production is ramping up. In January 2023, the DOE awarded a $700 million loan to build an on-site processing facility at the Rhyolite Ridge lithium deposit. Lithium company Ioneer claims the site will produce enough lithium to build 400,000 EVs annually.
The American Battery Technology Company — another key player in lithium production and recycling — also announced the discovery of one of the largest lithium deposits in the U.S. in late February. With an estimated 15.8 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, the mine could further sustain the surge in domestic lithium-ion battery production.
These rising investments in lithium batteries come as the nation faces unprecedented demand for EV production. The U.S. aims for half of all domestically manufactured vehicles sold to be electric by 2030. However, this increasing demand has spurred a rise in lithium battery costs after more than a decade of falling prices.