President Biden yesterday launched his latest assault to expand the USA’s electric vehicle and lithium ion battery industries.
Visiting the Ford’s historic Dearborn plant, President Biden announced more details on the America Jobs Plan that is set to see a significant expansion in the production of lithium ion batteries in the USA and with it more gigafactories.
At present, Benchmark is tracking 211 lithium ion battery megafactories but only 12 are in the US while 156 are in a China and 22 in Europe.
Here, Benchmark outlines the pertinent points for our industry from what The White House titled: “The American Jobs Plan Supercharges the Future of Transportation and Manufacturing”.
On the state of play:
“Increasingly, the global market is shifting to electric vehicles (EVs) – tapping into EVs’ potential to save families thousands of dollars, lower carbon pollution, and make the air we breathe cleaner.
“Yet, despite pioneering the technology, the United States is behind in the race to manufacture these vehicles and the batteries that go in them.”
On building the USA’s lithium ion battery capacity:
“Securing the domestic production of EV parts, like batteries, also represents an opportunity to shore up U.S competitiveness in a growing market, bolster our domestic supply chain, and create good-paying jobs in the U.S. — union jobs.”
“ [The American Jobs Plan will] Incentivize the start-up of new battery production facilities: The President’s plan proposes cost-sharing grants to support new high capacity battery facilities in the United States, recognizing that new businesses may not be able to access tax credits but can pitch in their fair share as they scale their operations.”
How many battery plants does the USA have right now?
In 2021 the USA has the following battery plants in production:
- Tesla Gigafactory (Sparks, Nevada)
- Tesla Pilot Plant (Fremont, California
- Envision AESC (Smyrna, Tennessee)
- LG Energy Solution (Holland, Michigan)
- SK Innovation (Commerce, Georgia)
How many are in the pipeline?
Including the five plants in production, the USA has 12 gigafactories in the pipeline. The bulk of these plants are concentrated in three domestic regions identified by Benchmark as:
- Hub 1: Tesla West
- Hub 2: New Detroit
- Hub 3: EV South
Tesla West leads the way, with the Gigafactory 1 already among the largest battery factories by capacity globally. This hub has been further strengthened by Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory and the hub has already shown the need for upstream capacity, with Tesla’s plans to develop a spodumene conversion operation.
Behind Tesla West, LG Chem is establishing growing capacity in the New Detroit hub, which will largely be supportive of GM’s electric ambitions. Finally, the development of the third US Hub – EV South – is being driven by LG Chem’s Korean rival SK Innovation, with two plants in the pipeline in Commerce, Georgia.
How many tier one lithium ion battery makers in USA?
The good news for the US is that four of the 6 tier one lithium ion battery makers are already operating in the USA.
How many more battery plants can we expect?
Benchmark’s Managing Director, Simon Moores, explained to Politico in April:
“Between now and 2030, the U.S. needs to build 20 more battery plants, maybe 10 if they’re really big,” to serve automotive demand.
“That means you need them established by 2027, which means you have to start work on them in 2023.”
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