A new company, American Battery Factory (ABF), announced plans to set up a network of lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) battery fabrications across the United States. Incubated by Lion Energy, a mobile battery and solar generator provider that reported $100 million in sales in 2021, ABF brings forward an executive team backed by a company with ten years of energy storage experience.
American Battery Factory said it is in active dialogue with battery pack integrators, and forthcoming agreements and the first manufacturing site will be announced in the coming months. The company is a US-owned manufacturer targeting a vertical supply chain. It said currently China manufactures 77% of the global lithium cell production. Bringing the fabrication to the US aligns with federal supply chain stability and independence goals, said ABF.
Last June, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $200 million in funding for EV development and the battery supply chain. Its vision for the next decade is the establishment of a secure battery materials and technology supply chain.
The DOE is directing the $200 million in funds via a blueprint by the Federal Consortium of Advanced Batteries, which outlined five goals. First, to secure access to raw and refined materials and discover alternates for critical minerals. Second, to support the growth of a United States material-processing base to meet domestic battery demand. Third, to the nation’s electrode, cell, and pack manufacturing sectors. Fourth, to enable end-of-life reuse and recycling at scale. And fifth, to advance U.S. battery technology leadership through the support of R&D, STEM education, and workforce development.
ABF said its batteries will qualify for “US-made” requirements and will support the above DOE goals. It said the batteries have applications in grid-scale, commercial, and residential energy storage, select EVs like trucks, agricultural vehicles, trams, e-bikes, etc. The batteries could also be used in US military and defense applications, with the benefit of reducing foreign dependence.
LFP batteries decrease risks of fires compared to traditional lithium batteries and exceed the lifecycle of a lead-acid battery by as much as ten times, said ABF. Lead-acid batteries typically last about two to three years, while the company said its batteries will work for 20-30 years and 10,000+ life cycles.
ABF said it will manufacture LFP batteries in a series of rapid-deploy factories called “Sprung Structures.” The structures could host 300-1000 US manufacturing jobs per location. The “factory in a box” facilities are built with LEED-certified fabric membranes, take only weeks to construct, and can be built for as little as half the cost of traditional construction, said ABF. It said the expandable structures can allow factories to scale from 3GWh to 15GWh annually.
“Our vision is to make it possible for all individuals, neighborhoods, companies, utilities, states and sovereign entities to store and deploy the energy source of their choice through battery storage,” said Paul Charles, President and Chief Executive Officer at ABF.
The LFP batteries do not contain cobalt or nickel, which the company said are the most toxic and combustible elements in today’s EV batteries. Cobalt is also a known conflict mineral that has been tied to child labor, so ABF’s exclusion of the element leads to more ethical sourcing.
The company is currently developing a workforce, partner network, and has assembled a management team with a century of combined experience in battery chemistry, technology, finance, law, supply chain management and manufacturing.
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Great that these batteries don’t need nickel, which is going up every day thanks to Russia invading Ukraine. Also, I wonder why the company can’t repurpose empty malls and storefronts rather than building new structures?
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