Oakland, 31 August 2023 – The Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement today of US$15.5 billion for domestic EV production and workforce development is a welcome signal but questions remain around implementation. Danny Kennedy, CEO of New Energy Nexus, said:
“This announcement shows the USA is finally getting real about onshoring a resilient and clean lithium and EV supply chain. This is a huge opportunity for innovators, with dozens of startups potentially receiving the backing they need to scale up production.
“It’s time we unleash American ingenuity, and support diverse entrepreneurs working to address critical issues in the clean transition: building a low carbon lithium battery supply chain, with high quality job creation and inclusive economic development at its core.”
Li-Bridge , a public-private alliance convened by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and which New Energy Nexus is a core member, released a report in February 2023 – “Building a Robust and Resilient U.S. Lithium Battery Supply Chain” – that included 26 recommendations to boost the domestic lithium battery industry.
According to the report, the U.S. will not achieve complete lithium battery supply chain independence by 2030, but it estimates the country can capture 60% of the economic value consumed by domestic demand for lithium batteries by that year, generating $33 billion in revenues and creating 100,000 jobs.
“Without reliable access to lithium battery technology, the U.S. has no chance of meeting its 2050 net-zero carbon emissions goal or ensuring an inclusive and socially responsible industry.
“The Administration’s statement is vague on details at this stage, but we will want to see strong measures securing high-road jobs, and partnerships with local communities, tribes and labor groups to ensure benefits flow across the country. This should be especially so in Southern California, where abundant lithium can be produced as a byproduct of geothermal power.
“This vision could lead to a profound transformation of the Salton Sea region, moving beyond primary resources to an economic transformation rooted in innovation and value-added enterprises linking lithium mining with the full lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle value chain.
“This could provide good paying jobs in everything from critical minerals refining, to battery components and electric vehicle manufacturing, to battery recycling and reuse activities.”
 Announced in October 2021 by DOE and Argonne, Li-Bridge is spearheaded by three industry trade groups — New Energy Nexus, NAATBatt International, and the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology (NY-BESTTM) Consortium — with active involvement from DOE national labs and Boston Consulting Group.
About New Energy Nexus
New Energy Nexus (NEX) is the world’s leading ecosystem of funds and accelerators supporting diverse clean energy entrepreneurs. NEX started in California in 2004 and now operates programs in New York, China, India, Southeast Asia, East and West Africa and Australia. Since 2016, NEX has accelerated 880 startups, supported over 5000 entrepreneurs, and mobilized over US$1.5 billion in investment. Find out more: www.newenergynexus.com