Australia Is One Step Closer to Getting a Dedicated EV Battery Manufacturing Facility

Australia Is One Step Closer to Getting a Dedicated EV Battery Manufacturing Facility

Australia is making progress towards having its own EV battery manufacturing facility after the federal government announced an investment to help manufacture renewable energy technologies locally.

The federal government awarded $14 million to Powering Australia to establish the Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre, which is planned as a throughline between critical mineral producers and manufacturing companies.

This is one of the essential steps being undertaken to establish local renewables and battery production and will be an important factor for local EV component manufacture.

As we’ve reported, Australia has an abundance of rare earths and essential battery minerals, elements like lithium, nickel, and cobalt. So much so that, at the time of writing, Australia is the world’s largest lithium exporter.

While we’re exporting our lithium and battery materials, however, we only have one company in the country that’s leveraging our local supply with on-shore factories. The rest goes overseas, to countries like China, where the materials are then refined and turned into lithium-ion battery cells.

Not doing the refining part of the battery supply chain means we’re missing out on a big piece of the pie. So, queue the Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre.

“Batteries, renewables and other low-emissions technologies offer huge opportunities for Australian industry to create jobs and the sovereign capabilities critical to our economic success,” Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said.

“This $14 million investment is targeted support to grow Aussie know-how in these emerging areas. It aligns with what we’re doing with our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, which has renewable and low-emissions technologies as one of its priority investment areas, once again demonstrating how government linking up policies can better support Australian industry.”

The goals of Powering Australia’s centre boil down to three things: to help commercialise local renewable technologies, to connect the local critical minerals and manufacturing industries, and to “include a First Nations Advisor to build First Nations business management capabilities in renewable technologies.”

That last one is exceptionally important. We need to uplift the First Nations voices that we don’t hear much of, but also critical minerals mining, and renewable materials development, have a substantial environmental impact – still very much less than coal and petrol, but one that we simply can’t ignore.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

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