Market Insights

# Li-Bridge to Double US Li-ion Battery Revenues by 2030

March 06, 2023 by Mike Falter

## According to a recent report citing economic security interests, the Li-Bridge initiative intends to achieve 100% self-supply for domestic U.S. lithium battery manufacturing by 2050.

Li-Bridge, a public-private alliance assembled by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and managed by Argonne National Laboratories, has a new action plan for accelerating U.S.-based lithium battery production, addressing battery manufacturing and the supply chain needed to support production.

##### Li-Bridge public-private initiative to support U.S. battery production. Image used courtesy of Li-Bridge

The report “Building a Robust and Resilient U.S. Lithium Battery Supply Chain” outlines 26 specific actions to enhance U.S. lithium battery production. Recommendations include the establishment of a buying consortium for raw materials, joint pilot lines to accelerate the commercialization of new battery technologies, investment for battery manufacturing workforce training, and streamlined permitting requirements.

### Strengthening U.S. Battery Production

The objectives in the Li-Bridge report align with larger U.S. policy initiatives targeting more robust domestic battery and semiconductor manufacturing as supported by recent Federal spending legislation that includes the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the CHIPS and Science Act.

The report articulates the scale of the challenge by asserting that global demand for lithium batteries is projected to increase by more than a factor of 5 by 2030, with demand rising by more than six times over the same period.  Without direct action, the U.S. remains highly dependent on imports to meet domestic demand for lithium batteries, particularly in upstream portions of the supply chain encompassing raw and processed materials.

The report admits the U.S. is unlikely to achieve complete supply chain independence for lithium battery production by 2030. Still, it is estimated that up to 60% of the economic value can be captured by then, translating to the stated target of \$33 billion in annual revenues and 100,000 new jobs associated with battery production in the US. Beyond 2030, the report calls for nearly 100% supply chain independence by 2050.

### Batteries Are Important to Economic and Emissions Goals

According to program representatives, there are multiple goals for Li-Bridge and the larger array of recent federal programs. These include a more secure domestic manufacturing base for semiconductors, batteries, and other energy-related components, the promotion of new energy and mobility technologies that reduce reliance on carbon-emitting fossil fuels, and the creation of a skilled domestic workforce that can support these industries through high-paying manufacturing jobs.

From a political perspective, the latter policy aims to bolster a U.S. middle class that has, in many cases, struggled in recent decades from the offshoring of manufacturing jobs due to globalization.

### Economic Security Is not Free

Domestic U.S. manufacturing and supply chain initiatives offer many benefits regarding economic security and job creation, but they are not free. Taxpayer funding will be required for their implementation, and the “on-shoring” of domestic production could negate many of the pricing benefits consumers have enjoyed in recent years resulting from globalization. But these are the difficult choices that the U.S. and other governments must make when addressing economic and national security challenges.

However, for all of its shortcomings, and no system is ever perfect, it is also important to note that the idea of globalization was based, at least in part, on the principle of shared ideas and collaboration across national boundaries to promote peace, prosperity, personal freedom, and economic growth. These ideals should not be forgotten, even as the current reality on the ground may force a retreat from these larger ambitions, at least in the near term.