Considering the environmental and other competing interests, it is imperative for the United States to work with its allies so that it is possible to secure the minerals that are critical for making electric vehicle batteries and process them within the country, the White House has said.
According to this strategy, which was first reported in May this year, the government will strive to ensure new funding for expanding international investments in electric vehicles (EV) metal projects through the U.S. Development Finance Corporation and new measures to increase supply of the materials through recycling of used batteries.
There have been efforts of the US to ensure supply of the minerals from its allied countries including Canada and Finland. Large lithium supplies available in Chile and Australia, two countries that are the largest producers of the white battery metal in the world, were also mentioned in the 250-page report which outlines the new policy recommendations.
A new working group to identify the locations within the country where it would be possible for producing and processing minerals used in EV batteries and other technologies was also launched by the US President Joe Biden’s administration.
One of the major obstacles to Biden’s aggressive EV adoption plans is the securing of enough copper, lithium and other raw materials critically needed for making EV batteries even as extensive regulatory hurdles and environmental opposition is faced by mines within the US.
The advantageous position of China as the largest processor of EV metals in the world was also acknowledged by the White House which also reiterated commitment to reduce China dependency for these minerals.
“The United States cannot and does not need to mine and process all critical battery inputs at home. It can and should work with allies and partners to expand global production and to ensure secure global supplies,” the White House said in the report.
Additionally, in order to ensure that any new production of the minerals “meets strong standards” in terms of both the environment and community input, gaps in mine permitting laws would also be closely considered the Department of the Interior and others agencies, the White House also said.
The opposition to Lithium Americas Corp’s Thacker Pass lithium project in Nevada by Native Americans as well as the plans of the electric car maker Tesla’s plans for producing its own lithium were also mentioned in the report.
A 100-day review of gaps in supply chains in key areas, including EVs was ordered by Biden who had announced fighting climate change and competing with China centrepieces central to his agenda and this report follows that move.
Democrats are pushing aggressive climate goals to have a majority of US-manufactured cars be electric by 2030 and every car on the road to be electric by 2040.
(Adapted from ChannelNewsAsia.com)