Jenna N. Trost 1 & Jennifer B. Dunn 1,2
Electric vehicle batteries contain many internationally sourced critical minerals. Seeking a stable mineral supply, the US Inflation Reduction Act sets a market-value-based target for battery critical mineral content. In 2027, for an electric vehicle to be tax-credit eligible, 80% of the market value of critical minerals in its battery must be sourced domestically or from US free-trade partners. We determined that the target may be achievable for fully electric vehicles with nickel cobalt aluminium cathode batteries, but achieving the target with lithium iron phosphate and nickel cobalt manganese batteries would be challenging. We also note that a mass-based target could avoid some of the challenges posed by a market-value target, such as volatile market prices. We further conclude that the approach the Act has taken ignores the environmental effects of mining, non-critical minerals supply, support for recycling and definitions that avoid gamesmanship.