FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated Ascend Elements Inc., a producer of advanced, sustainable battery materials made from recycled lithium-ion batteries, as President Joe Biden announced the company has been approved for $480.5 million through two federal grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funds further propel a nationwide effort to grow U.S. electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing and create good-paying jobs.
Gov. Beshear, who has helped make Kentucky the EV battery production capital of the United States, supported Ascend Elements in the grant application process.
“Today’s announcement is incredible news for Ascend Elements, the Christian County community and the commonwealth as we work together to cement Kentucky’s place as a national leader in the fast-growing electric vehicle market,” Gov. Beshear said. “These grants position Ascend Elements to take their business to the next level and emphasize that leaders at the federal level – as we do in Kentucky – recognize the importance of investing in companies that are helping to drive this industry forward.”
Gov. Beshear added, “Today’s announcement also shows that the federal government recognizes Kentucky’s place at the top of the EV food chain.”
Earlier today, the White House announced $2.8 billion in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 20 manufacturing and processing companies in 12 states, as President Biden announced the American Battery Materials Initiative, a new effort to establish a reliable and sustainable supply of critical minerals used for power, electricity and EVs.
In Kentucky, Ascend Elements was approved for two grants with a federal cost share of $316,186,575 for materials separation and processing and $164,395,625 related to component manufacturing. Combined with a recipient match from the company, today’s announcement will leverage nearly $1 billion to increase production of EV battery materials in the commonwealth.
Ascend Elements was founded in 2015 and is based in Westborough, Massachusetts. In August, Gov. Beshear announced the company will locate a manufacturing operation known as Apex 1 in Christian County with a $310 million Phase 1 investment creating 250 full-time jobs. The project has the potential to grow to a $1 billion investment, creating 400 full-time jobs, in future phases. Ascend Elements raises the value of the battery supply chain by manufacturing advanced battery materials using valuable elements reclaimed from used lithium-ion batteries. The company maintains a mission to return 100% of battery active materials for production of new batteries and produces EV-grade, finished cathode active materials to meet or exceed performance requirements set by industry-leading brands.
With support of companies like Ascend Elements, since June 2020, the commonwealth has seen over $9.2 billion in EV-related investments, with more than 8,500 full-time jobs announced by companies within the industry.
The newly announced American Battery Material Initiative aims to make America more competitive, as the United States currently does not produce enough critical minerals and battery materials to power clean energy technologies. The initiative will align and leverage federal resources to grow the end-to-end battery supply chain; work with stakeholders, allies and partners to develop more sustainable, secure, resilient supply chains; and support faster and fairer permitting for projects that build the domestic supply chain.
The full news release from the White House detailing today’s announcement of funding to support battery manufacturing in the United States is available here.