U.S. plan envisions factories in Africa for surging EV battery demand

MABALACAT — A top official in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed building factories in Africa to help meet a surge in global demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The suggestion was made by DOE Under Secretary Mark Menezes during a forum in Mabala, Philippines on Thursday, which discussed how countries in Southeast Asia and beyond can benefit from emerging clean energy technologies.

Menezes said that the factories would be part of the DOE’s Africa Clean Energy Development Initiative, which was launched last year. The initiative seeks to support the development of projects in Africa that can generate clean energy, foster local job creation, and reduce poverty.

The DOE official said that the factories would produce EV batteries for use in many different countries, and would create jobs in Africa. He also noted that the initiative was part of the U.S.’s long-term effort to support the development of renewable energy in Africa, and to support EV adoption around the world.

Menezes went on to explain that the factories would have the potential to be a major source of lithium ion battery production for the entire world, as well as providing the capacity to manufacture cobalt, which is a key component of EV batteries. He said that the project could be a major boost to economic development in Africa, and could help the continent become a leader in renewable energy production.

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