DETROIT — The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed by Congress could even the playing field between the U.S. and China on the EV battery development front, said Austin Devaney, chief commercial officer of Piedmont, North Carolina-based Piedmont Lithium during Monday's Automotive News Congress in Detroit.
The legislation provides a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles that uses battery materials domestically extracted or processed.
The bill might even encourage U.S. battery makers and suppliers to develop and source batteries made from other materials besides lithium, which most EV batteries are made with today.
The U.S. only produces 1 percent of the world's lithium, and many EV batteries are made from lithium sourced in China and Australia.
The bill could end up directing $100 billion to the EV battery industry, putting it close to what China spends, Devaney said.
"We've seen an absolute increase in the momentum of investment after the Inflation Reduction Act," said Deeana Ahmed, vice president of strategy, policy and sustainability at Our Next Energy, a Novi, Michigan-based company focused on developing EV batteries from sustainable materials.
During the discussion, John Tuccillo, head of global corporate and government affairs at ADS-TEC Energy, a Nürtingen, Germany-based battery storage and charging company, said the U.S. would also have to rely on free-trade agreements to access the materials it needs for EV batteries to achieve its goal of carbon-free mobility by 2050.