Will Biden’s Plan Jump-Start a U.S. Battery Industry?

Cell-making is essential but the President cited batteries just once

Steve LeVine
The Mobilist
Published in
5 min readApr 2, 2021

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Photo courtesy of Siemens

For a decade, China has been building battery and electric vehicle industries, making it by far the biggest player in these technologies of the future. Over the last three years, Europe has sought to catch up, putting billions of dollars behind the creation of its own homegrown lithium-ion and EV industries. Today, the pair are more or less the global EV pantheon.

In a speech this week, President Biden made the United States’ first stab, in a decade, at getting fully into the race. He pledged $174 billion in funding, which is a large sum — 72 times the amount President Obama dedicated to EVs and batteries the only other time the U.S. sought to dominate the field.

The money is getting much praise for Biden’s determination to deliver a lot of jobs at union wages. Ahead of an expected mid-decade surge in EV sales, he is also getting good marks for a pledge to incentivize the buildout of a half-million charging stations across the country so people will worry less about becoming stranded with an empty battery.

But escaping much attention is that, if you are thinking about the technological future, Biden fell short on arguably the most important game field of all. He…

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Steve LeVine
The Mobilist

Editor at Large, Medium, covering the turbulence all around us, electric vehicles, batteries, social trends. Writing The Mobilist. Ex-Axios, Quartz, WSJ, NYT.