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Biden to invoke Cold War powers to boost production and tackle global supply shortage


The US President has been tipped to invoke these powers to help boost the US’ domestic production of the critical minerals required for these batteries. The Biden Administration is reportedly mulling over adding battery materials to the list of items covered by the 1950 Defense Production Act, Bloomberg News reports.

This comes as a global supply chain crunch has been tipped to cause major disruption to the EV industries, as well as to manufacturing sectors in general. 

Harry Truman, who was US President from 1945 to 1953, also triggered the same act to boost the production of steel during the Korean War.

Former President Donald Trump also invoked these powers to boost mask production during the pandemic.

The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the already present supply chain crisis, where a critical shortage of raw materials that are essential for EVs and other manufactured goods has hampered the rate of production.

 

According to Katie Tamblin, Chief Product Officer at Achilles, the shortage of raw materials of materials such as nickel, zinc, copper, is expected to further impact downstream global supply chains and cause chaos to global trade.

The scarcity of lithium, crucial for the production of batteries for EVs and electrical storage, could even see some 20 million electric vehicles taken out of production between 2022 and 2029, according to analysis from Achillies.

Ms Tamblin told Express.co.uk: “Concern is also being raised by the automotive industry around the shortage of nickel and other raw materials for use in other vital parts such as microchips and catalytic converters.”

And metals like nickel and platinum “come almost exclusively” from Russia, according to Make UK’s Chief Economist Seamus Levin. 

According to sources familiar with Mr Biden’s matter, adding minerals like lithium, nickel, graphite, cobalt and manganese to the list could help US mining companies access $750million(£570million) under the Defense Production Act’s Title III fund, Bloomberg News reports.

READ MORE: Price of goods set to soar up to 75% as EU unleashes new green tax

But in the UK, Britishvolt, a UK startup that’s working to build the country’s first large-scale gigafactory is leading the way in safeguarding its supply of nickel in the face of Russia’s influence.

They have signed a deal with VKTR, a leading Indonesian company, to establish a nickel sulphate facility in Indonesia, to ensure the supply of the battery raw material to Britishvolt’s first full-scale gigaplant in Northumberland, UK.

While Russia is a major supplier of nickel to the EU, Indonesia is the world’s largest nickel producing country and is rapidly building out its own electric vehicle industry.

The two companies are also looking into developing an electric battery gigaplant in Indonesia as well.



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