Industry’s R&D Spurs Long-Term Job Creation in Green Energy, Green Transportation
CHICAGO – March 28, 2023 – The U.S. lead battery industry is responsible for a staggering $32.9 billion annual economic impact, contributing significantly to the country’s economic growth. That’s according to a new study by Battery Council International (BCI), the leading trade association of the North American battery industry.
The study, “Economic Contribution of the U.S. Lead Battery Industry in 2021,” shows that the lead battery industry is a critical player in supporting the U.S. economy. It makes an impressive $13.7 billion annual GDP impact. And, its members provide high-paying manufacturing jobs and make technological advancements that will benefit the country for years to come.
More Job Growth Expected in Green Sectors
Highlights from the study include that the industry is a major source of job creation across 38 states, supporting over 121,000 high-paying manufacturing jobs in every major region of the country. The industry pays workers an average wage of $81,000 per year for all lead battery sectors. This exceeds the salaries paid in many other industries.
“This study highlights the vital role that the lead battery industry plays in supporting the U.S. economy and providing high-paying jobs for American workers,” said Roger Miksad, executive vice president of BCI.
The U.S. lead battery industry is also deeply committed to research and development. Collectively, the industry invests nearly $113 million annually in R&D. Miksad said the dollars help finance advancements in battery performance and energy storage applications.
“Our industry has invested heavily in research and development, yielding innovations in technology that are now supporting a range of green energy and transportation applications. That’s creating even more opportunities for long-term job creation in modern manufacturing.”
Industry is Key to Sustainable, Green Energy Storage
The industry also plays a critical role in helping the U.S. meet aggressive decarbonization goals. Advanced lead battery technology is a major source of energy storage for the electrification of transportation and renewable energy. The U.S. lead battery industry meets at least 50% of global energy storage needs, including renewable energy.
Furthermore, almost all hybrid and full-electric vehicles use a lead battery for critical functions. Lead batteries also provide a highly sustainable, domestically sourced energy storage solution to grow fast charge availability for EVs. Hybrids and other forms of HEVs employ start-stop technology enabled by lead batteries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6.7 million tons annually in the U.S.
Industry Models Circular Economy for U.S. Manufacturers
The industry not only provides significant economic benefits. It boasts an established domestic infrastructure that has become an unparalleled model for closed-loop manufacturing.
“This study highlights the importance of the lead battery industry’s domestic infrastructure, which models a successful circular economy and protects U.S. jobs,” said Miksad. “Our industry’s resilience, scalability and freedom from foreign influence support national security, while providing significant economic benefits.”
The lead battery industry’s domestic infrastructure provides a prominent source of domestically sourced energy storage with an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 165 GWh in the U.S. and more than 206 GWh across North America.
Also included in the study is a look at the effects of COVID-19 on supply chains, the effects of the pandemic on lead battery applications, and impacts on BCI member companies.
About Battery Council International
Battery Council International (BCI) will soon celebrate its 100-year anniversary as the leading trade association of the North American battery industry, representing more than 125 member companies. Formed in 1924, BCI brings together battery manufacturers and recyclers, marketers and retailers, suppliers of raw materials and equipment, and battery distributors from across North America and around the world. BCI members are committed to responsible manufacturing and recycling processes, and serve as a unified voice for environmental, health and safety stewardship. The organization continues to unite members within the lead industry to successfully communicate and protect through education, science, and government efforts the most successful circular economy on the planet. With 99% of used lead batteries collected and recycled in the U.S. and the typical new lead battery containing 80% or more of recycled content, BCI supports the path toward similar sustainability goals for all other battery chemistries.