US ‘Battery Belt’ Widens With $3.5 Billion Redwood Materials Plant – by Tom Randall (Bloomberg News – December 14, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — With demand for electric cars soaring, America desperately needs a new battery supply chain.

It appears to be coming. Redwood Materials Inc., started by Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, said Wednesday that it will spend $3.5 billion to develop a 600-acre site in Charleston, South Carolina, to manufacture enough critical battery components to build more than a million electric vehicles a year. It’s the second announcement of that size in less than a month, following LG Chem’s plans for a materials plant in Tennessee.

Billion-dollar battery factories are popping up just about everywhere along America’s new Battery Belt, which stretches roughly from Michigan to Georgia.

Some $15 billion in new manufacturing has been announced in just the last four months, according to BloombergNEF data, but until recently most investments were for manufacturing the battery cells and packs — not the materials they’re made from. Incentives in President Joe Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are only just beginning to accelerate those investments.

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