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New project aims to change how we power EV batteries forever: 'The biggest source of lithium carbonate in the US'

"Once the facility is at full steam…"

Li-Cycle's, Battery recycling hub

Photo Credit: iStock

North America's very first battery-grade recycling hub just received a monumental boost in funding in the form of a $375 million loan. The hub will be financed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and will support the needs of around 203,000 electric vehicles a year. 

While the facility is set to receive financing from the DOE's Loan Programs Office (LPO), it is being built and will be operated by Toronto-based lithium-ion battery recycling company Li-Cycle in Rochester, New York. 

The hub will operate in conjunction with Li-Cycle's four pre-existing battery recycling centers it calls "Spokes." The Rochester Hub will receive processed battery materials from the Spokes and transform them into battery-grade end-products for reuse in lithium-ion battery production through recycling.

"Once the facility is at full steam, it is projected to be the biggest source of lithium carbonate in the United States," Senator Chuck Schumer said, according to Electrek.

Li-Cycle's Rochester hub will become a significant source of battery-grade materials –– materials of a grade pure enough to be used in batteries –– such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt. This comes as big and exciting news on the EV, environmental, and workforce fronts.

The EV industry and environmental benefits go hand in hand. But with the rise of EVs, which provide a cleaner solution to transportation, one big question has arisen — what becomes of all of the lithium batteries used to power the vehicles at the end of their life? This, along with the question of where the materials for lithium batteries — and the batteries themselves — come from, has made some people wary to celebrate the advancements and uptick in EVs. 

The Rochester hub could provide a solution for both the beginning and end of the lives of lithium batteries.

The Rochester hub is also projected to create many jobs throughout its construction. At the height of construction, it is expected to create over 1,000 construction jobs in the area. On a more permanent basis, the project will create around 270 operations jobs.

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