The Inflation Reduction Act, which provides incentives for electric vehicles, has caused both public and private funding for battery manufacturing in the US to explode. The new electric-vehicle tax credits require battery components to be made in the US or one of its free-trade partners. Most of the investment in battery manufacturing has gone to factories that make battery cells for electric vehicles.

The goal of the new spending is to build out the earlier parts of the supply chain so that the materials can be made domestically. Making battery precursors in the US could help drive down costs for new technologies and ensure a steady supply of batteries as well as establish new companies and create jobs.

The funding will help build the foundation of a domestic battery industry, according to an email from an assistant professor.

Billions of dollars are being spent on battery cells and electric vehicles. Most of the global capacity for mineral processing and electrode manufacturing is located in China and other Asian countries.

The US is trying to catch up when it comes to processing minerals used in batteries. Four of the projects that received funding are companies trying to extract and process a key metal for batteries. Between now and 2050, there will be a need for a 20 times increase in the supply oflithium. One of the vulnerable parts of the supply chain is the production of lithium.

LfP batteries are a lower-cost chemistry and appear to be another significant focus. LFP batteries don't contain nickel orcobalt, two expensive metals that could be limited in the future.

According to some analysts, LFP technology could make up 40% of the global supply of batteries by the year 2030. The US has not been a center of LFP battery production in the past.

Near-term technologies that aren't widely used yet will be funded by a few grants. The energy stored in the batteries can be increased by using Silicon-based anodes.