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Open Translation

WASHINGTON, DC: In a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders, the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) says it is time to increase federal investment in domestic electric vehicle (EV) adoption.

The 60-member corporate group says investing in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty EV consumer incentives, charging infrastructure, domestic manufacturing, critical materials supply chain resilience, and transit and fleet electrification will help US manufacturing sector better complete with China.

Despite representing just 10 percent of all traffic, heavy-duty vehicles contribute 28 percent of global warming emissions from the nation’s on-road transportation sector and are also responsible for 45 percent of NOx emissions and 57 percent of particulate matter.

According to ZETA over 250,000 Americans already work in the domestic EV sector and with additional government investment the industry can create over two million jobs in Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Arizona and the Carolinas.

“Transportation is the largest carbon-emitting sector in the United States and is responsible for 29 percent of our total emissions,” said executive director Joe Britton. “The rapidly growing domestic EV market grants us a unique opportunity to reduce our emissions and address climate change – and also restore American leadership in automotive manufacturing, create good-paying jobs, and improve public health.”

ZETA supports the bipartisan consensus in favor of developing domestic clean energy supply chains including end-of-life (EOL) recycling. A report from consultant Cleantech Group acknowledges the current low number of battery-powered EV vehicles being recycled. However by 2030 the global EV fleet is forecast at 140 million – resulting in a US battery EOL of 25-30,000 tons annually valued at US$100 million.

The materials and capacity contained in lithium-ion batteries represent a new market for different stakeholders including battery manufacturers, automotive OEMs, fleet operators and stationary energy storage companies.

However Cleantech has identified several challenges to growing a circular market for EV components including:
• Lack of standardization: Lithium-ion batteries are made by manufacturers based on different specifications with different chemistries. Typically, third-party refurbishers and recyclers do not know what type of battery they are receiving.
• Transportation: Transport of end-of-life batteries is costly and highly regulated due to their classification as a US Class 9 hazardous material.
• Recycling and reuse markets: Currently nonexistent due to low volumes of EOL batteries and uncertainty about the future, including which chemistries will be used, cost competitiveness with virgin materials and new batteries, performance,
• Lack of collaboration: Knowledge-sharing and optimizing the location of battery collection and recycling facilities will require cross-border collaboration.

This week the U.S. Department of Energy announced a US$60 million investment in advanced vehicle technologies aimed at decarbonizing America's transportation sector.
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