US invests $2.8bn to boost electric car battery production

The Biden administration has been trying to move away from Chinese supplies

US President Joe Biden drives an electric Jeep Wrangler Rubicon at the White House in August 2021. Bloomberg
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US President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday said it was awarding $2.8 billion in grants to boost the production of electric vehicle batteries and the minerals used to make them.

Funding will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and go to 20 companies on projects across 12 states, the White House said.

Mr Biden also announced the American Battery Materials Initiative to commit the entire government to securing a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for electricity and EVs.

"Together, these actions will improve America’s energy independence, strengthen national security, support good-paying jobs across battery supply chains and lower costs for working families," the White House said.

Mr Biden has aimed to make 50 per cent of all new vehicles sold in the US electric or plug-in hybrid models, and provide 500,000 new EV charging stations.

The grants mark Washington's latest push to help reduce the country's reliance on China and other nations for its green energy revolution, just after the White House announced its national security strategy identified Beijing as its top competitor.

In August, Mr Biden signed the landmark Chips and Science Act, which provided a "once-in-a-generation" investment in US semiconductors.

The legislation provides $52.7bn for semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workplace development, which the White House saw as crucial to maintaining global competitiveness over Beijing.

Updated: October 27, 2022, 5:09 AM