EV battery pack.

The expenditure is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. | Sergii Chernov/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Energy is making $192 million available for battery recycling advancements and the launch of a battery research and development consortium.

The investment brings the grand total the Biden administration has dedicated to EV and battery technologies close to $3 billion. 

“With the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and stationary energy storage projected to increase the lithium battery market by as much as ten-fold by 2030, it is essential to invest in sustainable, reduced-cost recycling of consumer batteries in support of a secure, resilient and circular domestic supply chain for critical materials,” a press release noted. 

The funding for consumer electronics battery recycling, reprocessing and battery collection advancements comes out to about $125 million. The money can go toward a variety of battery-related projects, ranging from developing education and behavior change campaigns to aiding retailers with collecting, sorting, storing and transporting consumer electronics batteries – with everything in between.

Projects selected to receive the funding must also invest in America’s workforce and advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, the press release noted. Concept papers are due Aug. 17 and the deadline for full applications is Nov. 29. 

The advanced battery R&D consortium will support the development of alternative battery chemistries that cost less, use a lower volume of rare materials and improve recycling. Up to $60 million is earmarked for the consortium, which will be made up of universities, National Laboratory partners, major manufacturers of electric vehicles, mineral and material suppliers, and other stakeholders. 

Applications are due by Sept. 8 and must include a community benefits plan. 

Finally, the department is also continuing to offer the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize, which it kicked off in 2019. The department has allocated $7.4 million for a “Breakthrough Contest” and the fourth phase of the prize program: “Demonstration of Impact.”

The Breakthrough Contest is open to industry entrepreneurs, including former participants, and will also provide more support to winning teams from the third phase. The fourth phase will challenge participants to prove how effective their solutions are at moving batteries from consumers to recyclers.

A version of this story appeared in E-Scrap News on June 14.

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