Domestic Infrastructure Ensures Reliability

Lead battery industry domestic infrastructure icon

Global events have created foreign supply chain disruptions and increased threats to our country’s security, safety and economy. Yet lead batteries continue to withstand the world’s greatest crises. The industry’s vast North American infrastructure and proven circular model ensure it can help meet the demand for critical energy storage.

A Model That Prevents Supply Chain Disruption From External Forces

The lead battery industry has an established North American network to manufacture, collect, recycle and remanufacture lead batteries. This, coupled with a 99% U.S. recycling rate, makes lead batteries a model of resiliency and reliability.

Moreover, that model is essential to companies who manufacture new lead batteries. They rely on the lead battery industry’s successful, closed-loop economy for a consistent supply of high-quality, cost-stable inputs – especially recycled lead, which is infinitely recyclable. This proven manufacturing model helps to inoculate the industry to supply chain disruption from trade policies and trade interruptions, such as COVID-19.

Without question, lead batteries have a well-established, existing infrastructure. Its vast footprint includes:

  • 50 lead battery manufacturing facilities (39 in the U.S.)
  • Over 250,000 lead battery collection and distribution sites in the U.S.
  • 13 lead battery recycling facilities (8 in the U.S.)

Ready to Meet Demand Now

Post-pandemic economic recovery will require enormous energy storage capacity to “Build Back Better.” Our country needs a mix of sustainable energy storage for infrastructure, renewable energytransportation, the electrification of cities and more.

With confidence, major lead battery manufacturers are ready to scale to meet growing energy storage needs in North America. Reinforcing that confidence is that a lead battery is typically comprised of over 80% recycled material.

The lead battery industry’s vast collection and domestic recycling infrastructure ensures domestic manufacturers have the material inputs needed to end our dependence on foreign countries, like China, and meet the requirements of “Buy American” programs enacted by the federal government. In turn, that greatly reduces debilitating foreign supply chain disruptions.

Lead batteries support our critical infrastructure

Supporting National Security and Critical Infrastructure

Lead batteries defy the vulnerabilities in some of our nation’s supply chains. More than 90% of North American lead battery demand is met by North American manufacturers. That’s good news for meeting changing domestic-sourcing mandates to “Buy American.”

Recently, the Department of Defense began stepping up efforts to reduce our country’s dependence on imported critical materials. The specific wording is to “strengthen battery critical materials supply chains.” For the battery industry overall, that means reducing the amount of materials needed for battery production and recycling spent-battery materials.

Lead batteries are a step ahead. Their domestic supply chain is ensuring essential backup power remains available for:

  • National security and defense
  • Utilities and renewable energy
  • Medical and public safety
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Grid resiliency
  • Communication networks and data centers

The lead battery industry, with its strong domestic supply chain, is ideally positioned to rapidly deliver on President Biden’s promise … to ensure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure.

Roger Miksad, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Battery Council International

Confidently Meeting Domestic Manufacturing Needs 

Experts agree that a mix of battery technologies will be needed to meet America’s rapidly growing energy storage demand. But unlike other battery technologies, lead batteries do not rely on foreign componentry. Consider these facts:

  • Domestic U.S. recycling of lead batteries and other lead-bearing scrap provides 73% of the domestic demand for lead
  • Of that 73% total, 93% goes to manufacture new lead batteries
  • 100% of lead batteries’ three main components are infinitely recyclable
  • Lead batteries have a nearly 100% recycled rate (lithium-ion is at about 15%)
  • A new lead battery is typically comprised of 80% recycled material

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John Howes

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge report….reflects growing recognition from DOE and others that lead batteries are among important energy storage technologies that require investment to secure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure.

John Howes, Principal, Redland Energy Group