The Biden administration’s plan to expand electric vehicle sales to more than half of all new car purchases by 2031 currently seems to hang on supply chains far from our shores. If we want to expand our EV fleets, revamping the supply chains for these critical minerals required is top priority.
The problem is partly the fallout for the U.S. policy move to encourage offshoring manufacturing for economic reasons in the last two decades. It has resulted in a neglect of the kind of materials large-scale batteries require.
It’s an issue that the Biden administration targeted (as did the previous administration) even while still on the election trail, recognizing that these batteries are key not only for EVs but also for stationary power storage and many defense functions.
“All of our manufacturing is occurring offshore,” Margaret Kidd, program director of Supply Chain and Logistics Technology at the University of Houston. “For the US to be economically competitive and for national security reasons, there are certain industries that really need to be onshored or nearshored.”