March 16, 2023: Battery Council International has welcomed a proposed new US law that would eliminate taxes on lead oxide, antimony and sulfuric acid.
The USA Batteries Act, introduced by Pennsylvania congressman Daniel Meuser (pictured) on March 14, would repeal the chemical tax implemented as part of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. BCI says this forces an essential American industry to pay higher costs for key raw materials used to manufacture lead batteries — a tax that is not levied on imported batteries.
BCI executive vice president Roger Miksad said the legislation would help the lead battery industry continue to support critical business sectors including defence, transportation, logistics, telecoms and energy generation.
“The purpose of the infrastructure bill was to support domestic manufacturing, but if the tax is allowed to stand it will negatively impact the 25,000 American workers who make and recycle lead batteries and take pride in the fact that their product is the most recycled consumer product in the US.
“At a time when demand is outpacing domestic production, the USA Batteries Act will eliminate a tax that gives foreign manufacturers an unfair advantage on the cost of raw materials,” Miksad said.
“Lead batteries will be the dominant rechargeable battery technology for the foreseeable future, are the most recycled consumer product in the nation, and are the global leader in a variety of green applications. These come from well-known automotive uses supporting clean mobility in low-carbon start-stop and micro-hybrid vehicles, to the growing utility and renewable energy storage markets which are ushering in a global energy transition.”
The lead battery industry has an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 165GWh in the US and more than 206GWh across North America.
The US lead battery industry invested nearly $113 million in R&D in 2021 and is working on next gen battery technology and energy storage, through agreements with national laboratories, to meet the needs of a market that should grow from 360GWh in 2020 to 430GWh in 2030, BCI said.
BCI will next year celebrate its centenary as the leading trade association of the North American battery industry representing more than 125 member companies.