DOE invests in Li-Cycle for lithium battery recycling

As electric vehicles (EVs) have grown increasingly popular, so has the push to improve their supply chains. The latest movement in this trend comes as the Department of Energy (DOE) grants a $375 million loan to Li-Cycle, a lithium battery recycling company.

The loan will help Li-Cycle build a recycling facility near Rochester, New York, the company’s fifth in North America. Once operational, the plant will recycle more than 200,000 EVs’ worth of lithium-ion batteries annually. It represents a significant step forward in the overall sustainability of electric vehicles, which has come into question with increasing attention over lithium mining.
This massive investment from the DOE is far from its first or largest in lithium battery recycling. In February 2023, the DOE announced a $2 billion loan for Redwood Materials to build a recycling facility near Reno, Nevada. A week before the Li-Cycle announcement, recycling firm Ecobat announced plans to build its first battery recycling plant in Arizona.

Even outside of recycling, U.S. lithium battery production is ramping up. In January 2023, the DOE awarded a $700 million loan to build an on-site processing facility at the Rhyolite Ridge lithium deposit. Lithium company Ioneer claims the site will produce enough lithium to build 400,000 EVs annually.

The American Battery Technology Company — another key player in lithium production and recycling — also announced the discovery of one of the largest lithium deposits in the U.S. in late February. With an estimated 15.8 million tons of lithium carbonate equivalent, the mine could further sustain the surge in domestic lithium-ion battery production.

These rising investments in lithium batteries come as the nation faces unprecedented demand for EV production. The U.S. aims for half of all domestically manufactured vehicles sold to be electric by 2030. However, this increasing demand has spurred a rise in lithium battery costs after more than a decade of falling prices.


Previous articleVolkswagen to invest $193 billion to hit EV target, picks Canada for battery factory
Next articleElectra produces lithium from battery recycling trial