DOT and DOE Plan National EV Charging Network

Posted on 2/7/2022 by Roseanne Bottone

US DOT and the Department of Energy will coordinate distribution of funding to build a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The number of EVs in the US is expected to increase eleven-fold within the next ten years, from two million EVs to twenty-two million. If the average industry projection is correct, EVs could account for half or more of all new passenger vehicle sales by 2030.

As more electric vehicles are sold, EV charging stations will have a critical impact on energy availability and sustainability. A “Joint Office of Energy and Transportation” has been established to provide a coordinated one-stop-shop for managing the nationwide installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

Lithium Batteries and Recycling

Most plug-in hybrids and EVs are powered by lithium-ion (Li) batteries, which have a high power-to-weight ratio and high energy efficiency. They also perform well at elevated temperatures and have low self-discharge rates.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries is now increasing 22% annually and is expected to rise along with EV demand as more fleets and consumers choose electric vehicles. 

Lithium batteries last a long time, but they don’t last forever. As the number of lithium battery shipments continues to increase (and as earlier generations of electric vehicles become due for battery replacement) manufacturers, distributors, and waste management professionals face a challenge: What to do with all of the used lithium-batteries?

While many lithium-ion battery components can be reclaimed, the cost of material recovery is presently prohibitive. To overcome this challenge, the Department of Energy promotes the Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize to identify feasible recycling solutions. 
The Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize focuses on identifying innovative solutions for collecting, sorting, storing, and transporting spent and discarded lithium-ion batteries—from electric vehicle (EV), consumer electronics, industrial, and stationary applications—for eventual recycling and materials recovery.

The Battery Recycling Prize is...designed to incentivize American entrepreneurs to develop and demonstrate processes that, when scaled, have the potential to profitably capture 90% of all discarded of spent lithium-based batteries in the United States for eventual recovery of key materials for re-introduction into the US supply chain.

The goal is to prevent hazardous components from entering waste streams through battery recycling and the creation of a post-consumer market.

Finalists Compete to Share $2 Million in Phase III

lithium-ion battery recycling prize American MadeTwo of the contest’s three phases are now complete. Fifteen competitors successfully completed Phase I, Concept Development and Incubation and advanced to Phase II: Prototyping and Partnering.
Seven finalists were selected to move on Phase III: Pilot Validation.

To succeed in Phase III, the “Pilot Validation” phase, finalists must “substantially advance their end-to-end solutions from proof-of-prototype to a refined pilot of the technology.” Up to
four winners will split a $2 million prize.

To view submissions or follow the Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Challenge, visit the American Made Challenges website.

Shipping Lithium Batteries Training

Because they may pose chemical and electrical hazards, contain flammable electrolyte, and have an extremely high energy density, lithium batteries are regulated as hazardous materials under US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and international standards like the IATA DGR.

Lion’s Shipping Lithium Batteries online training guides shippers through a step-by-step process to classify, package, mark, label, handle, and document packages of lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries and cells in compliance with the latest US and international regulations—including a significant change in the 2022 IATA DGR that is mandatory for air shippers on March 1, 2022.

Compliance with US and international regulations is crucial to prevent batteries from overheating or igniting in transit. A lithium battery fire in transportation can lead to thermal runaway, making the flames very difficult to extinguish. 

Tags: electric vehicles, EV, hazardous materials, lithium batteries, lithium battery recycling

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