Westborough electric vehicle battery recycling company Ascend Elements has received a $480 million matching fund grant to help build its new $1 billion facility in Kentucky.
The grant is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act Battery Materials Processing and Battery Manufacturing Initiative, which provides $2.8 billion through the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. According to the Department of Energy’s website, 21 projects, including Ascend Elements’ new Apex facility in Kentucky, have been funded to support U.S. facilities for battery materials, processing and recycling.
Ascend Elements calls the new facility the Apex Facility. Construction began in October on the 140-acre site in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where the company’s technology will be used to manufacture lithium battery cathode active materials from recycled lithium batteries. According to Ascend, once construction is complete, Apex will produce enough material from old batteries that he will power 250,000 electric vehicles.
“These awards are game-changing for the US lithium-ion battery industry,” Ascend CEO Mike O’Kronley said in a press release Wednesday. “The Department of Energy-backed Apex facility will be the first and largest battery materials production facility of its kind in the United States and will improve the security of supplies and the competitiveness of the United States, which is critical to the domestic electric vehicle industry. A global leader in the lithium-ion battery industry.The importance of a closed-loop lithium-ion battery supply chain cannot be underestimated.This grant will accelerate the achievement of a closed-loop supply chain.”
One of the challenges facing the electric vehicle industry is the production of lithium batteries. Materials used in batteries have to be imported from all over the world. Ascend Elements and other battery recycling companies are building a closed-loop, more sustainable system in the United States. The system eliminates the need to import new materials and instead reuses materials from old batteries after recycling.