EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated

The U.S. Department of Energy has granted $117 million to a company planning to build an electric vehicle battery plant in North Alabama.

In a recent press release, Anovion said its manufacturing plant will produce 35,000 tons of synthetic graphite anode annually to be used for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries.

The $117 million comes from the American Battery Materials Initiative, which has distributed $2.8 billion in grants to 12 states. It is intended to expand domestic battery production for electric vehicles and the electrical grid.

The funds will go toward building the company's capacity across the country, and the location of the North Alabama plant is yet to be determined.

“We are thrilled to have been recognized as a nominee for the Infrastructure Grant opportunity. This grant consideration will enable Anovion to expedite its ongoing investments in expansion to advance the company’s mission of growing a resilient, secure and sustainable North American lithium-ion battery supply chain,” Chief Executive Officer of Anovion Eric Stopka said in the release. “This nomination affirms Anovion’s commitment to creating a meaningful, positive impact on the environment, communities where we currently and plan to operate, people we employ, and the broader clean-energy economy. Anovion’s existing qualified commercial products, process technologies, focus on R&D, and experienced team uniquely position this project for success.”

The plant will be the largest of its kind in North America.

According to AL.com, Stopka said the company is currently trying to acquire land for the project, and he hopes to begin construction in the second half of next year to have the facility up and running by 2025.

Earlier this year, construction on a $202 million graphite processing plant began near Alexander City. Mercedes-Benz started to produce electric SUVs after opening an electric battery plant in Bibb County.

According to MoneyWeek, the world market for electric vehicle batteries is dominated by China. As of January, China accounted for 85% of the global electric vehicle battery market. One company, CATL, alone accounted for 30%.

This presents a challenge to President Joe Biden’s plans to make electric vehicles 50% of the vehicle market in the United States by 2030, especially when the United States is already severely economically dependent on China.

It’s also debatable whether the power grid could currently sustain that many electric vehicles.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email will.blakely@1819news.com or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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