U.S. Department of Energy Announces $30 Million to Develop Technologies to Enable Circular Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain

ARPA-E Issues New Funding Opportunity Focused on Prolonging EV Battery Life and Reducing Demand for Critical Minerals Through Regeneration, Repair, Reuse & Remanufacture Strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $30 million in funding to develop innovative solutions that support the creation of a circular electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain. Funded by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the Catalyzing Innovative Research for Circular Use of Long-lived Advanced Rechargeables (CIRCULAR) program will help advance next-generation technologies critical to maximizing lifetime EV performance and reducing production and operating costs. Developing these solutions will help overcome the technological and economic barriers to broad EV adoption and reinforces President Biden’s efforts to advance a circular economy to meet our nation’s energy, economic, and climate goals.

“ARPA-E is laser-focused on accelerating cutting-edge technologies we need to help build President Biden’s vision of a clean transportation future,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “With CIRCULAR, ARPA-E is supporting innovative solutions that will help create a strong circular EV supply chain, which is critical to reducing emissions and establishing new U.S.-based manufacturing and supply chain loops.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refers to a circular economy, “as an economy that uses a systems-focused approach and involves industrial processes and economic activities that are restorative or regenerative by design, enables resources used in such processes and activities to maintain their highest value for as long as possible, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, and systems.”

The overarching goal of ARPA-E’s CIRCULAR program is to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to a circular economy and enhance the domestic EV battery supply chain through the development of innovative solutions through four technology categories:

  • Category A seeks innovations in battery cell materials, designs, regeneration methods, and corresponding manufacturing techniques to prolong battery service life.
  • Category B focuses on battery pack designs, materials, and reversible manufacturing methods as well as fast and safe disassembly techniques to recover manufacturing value of cells and pack components.
  • Category C prioritizes innovations in cell-level sensing, data analytics, and battery intelligence systems to ensure safety, extend the service life, and manage end-of-life of batteries.
  • Category D aims to develop technoeconomic, lifecycle, and circularity analysis tools capable of quantifying the impact of the program’s advancements to both justify the adoption of these technologies and inform new business models and opportunities.

Visit the ARPA-E eXCHANGE website for more information about CIRCULAR, including key guidelines and dates for applicants.

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies across a wide range of technical areas that are too early for private-sector investment. Learn more about these efforts and ARPA-E's commitment to ensuring the United States continues to lead the world in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.


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