US Invokes Defense Production Act to Boost EV Mineral Production

US Invokes Defense Production Act to Boost EV Mineral Production

US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden will authorize the use of Title III of the Korean War-era Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up US production of minerals for electric vehicles and utility-grade energy storage batteries.

According to a White House fact sheet released earlier today, “The President will issue a directive, authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act to secure American production of critical materials to bolster our clean energy economy by reducing our reliance on China and other countries for the minerals and materials that will power our clean energy future.”

“Specifically,” the fact sheet continues, “the DPA will be authorized to support the production and processing of minerals and materials used for large capacity batteries – such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese – and the Department of Defense will implement this authority using strong environmental, labor, community, and tribal consultation standards.”


What is the Defense Production Act?

Image courtesy History Channel.

The FEMA website explains the Defense Production Act [of 1950] as, “the primary source of Presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of materials and services from the US industrial base needed to promote the national defense.

Title III, ‘Expansion of Productive Capacity and Supply,’ also provides for, “various financial measures, such as loans, loan guarantees, purchases, and purchase commitments, to improve, expand, and maintain domestic production capabilities needed to support national defense and homeland security procurement requirements.”

All of this goes back to the sweeping war powers granted to President Truman during World War II, which saw car companies converted to making airplanes, bombers, Jeeps (of course), and even tanks. has a great summary of the passing of the Defense Production Act here, with even more great WWII-era photos like the one above. It’s definitely worth a click.

The short version is that the government is allowed to force private companies to prioritize certain Federal contracts, especially those pertaining to ‘national defense.’ And it looks like, as of now, that includes the production of electric vehicles – and you can let us know how you feel about that in the comments section at the bottom of the page.



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