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Senate Introduces New Bill Which Could Accelerate GM’s EV Battery Production

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Last week, the U.S. Senate introduced the American Mineral Security Act, a bill which would help boost domestic production of minerals used in making EV batteries. The legislation promises to help automakers like GM move closer to achieving their EV-related goals. For instance, it would help GM attain its objectives of expanding its battery-production facilities so it can introduce 20 new EV models by 2023

About the bill

According to Reuters, the pending bill calls for a nationwide resource assessment of U.S. metal resources.The legislation codifies the Executive Order 13817 which President Trump signed back in 2017. It would also streamline regulation and permitting requirements needed to develop domestic mines for EV minerals like lithium and graphite. 

Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia expressed his endorsement of the bill. He also articulated the benefits it would have on the economy. “Our legislation requires common sense steps to begin restoring American independence regarding critical minerals and strengthen our national security, diversify our economy and create job opportunities in our communities.”

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Focusing on U.S. mineral resources

The goal of the new bill is to increase American production of domestically-sourced minerals. China currently has a lead in supplying EV battery minerals. However, research indicates that the U.S. definitely has the potential to build its own self-sufficient network of mines. 

Per data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the nation has 35,000 metric tons of lithium in reserve. And this figure is definitely a conservative one, according to this agency and field executives. 

Benefits of increasing domestic mineral production

If the new bill passes, it would stabilize the mining infrastructure and streamline the processing regulations needed to support the nation’s increased production of EV batteries. This, in turn, would reduce America’s reliance on China for the minerals needed to create these batteries.

Per GM Authority, last year the U.S. imported 50 percent of 49 critical minerals from China. This included 100 percent of 18 critical ones such as graphite and indium. Considering the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, the new bill would eliminate the need for automakers to pay tariffs for shipping extracted minerals overseas for processing.

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News Sources: GM AuthorityReuters