Statevolt Plans 54 Gigawatt-Hour Battery Factory In Southern California

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Lars Carlsrom may be the Elon Musk of battery manufacturers. The serial entrepreneur is a founder of Britishvolt, which is building a 30 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery factory in the UK, and Italvolt, which is constructing a 45 GWh battery factory in Italy. Now, Electrive is reporting that Carlstrom is behind yet another battery company — Statevolt — which intends to build yet another 45 GWh battery factory in Southern California’s Imperial Valley. That’s enough to power around 650,000 electric cars.

The company says it is “conducting due diligence to determine the best location to build its plant,” which is expected to cost $4 billion and employ 2,500 people. The Imperial Valley is located close to the border with Mexico. Statevolt has signed an agreement with Controlled Thermal Resources to supply battery grade lithium and geothermal energy to the factory. CTR expects to be able to produce around 34,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent per year by 2027. In addition, 140 MW of geothermal energy is also to be generated.

Carlstrom told the press this week, “The development of lithium ion batteries is crucial for the U.S. to meet its goals to transition to Net Zero. Today, we face a significant shortage in the amount of lithium that is required to meet the demand for electric vehicles. We are pioneering a new, hyper-local business model, which prioritizes sustainability and resilience in the supply chain to solve this issue.”

According to PV Magazine, global demand for lithium is expected to reach 383,000 metric tons by 2030. Since the Biden administration has called for 50% of all automotive sales to be electrics by 2030, large battery factories like the one Statevolt is building will be needed to support rapid development, foster supply chain resilience, and meet consumer demand in the near to medium term.

CTR has constructed and managed geothermal operations in Imperial Valley for over 30 years and was selected for its regional experience and technical knowledge to optimize Statevolt’s sustainability initiatives,

“We applaud Lars and his team for taking a proactive approach to ensure the company’s future lithium supply, while also consciously seeking out the cleanest lithium and power available for Statevolt’s first U.S. Gigafactory. The extraordinary growth in electric vehicle adoption and the emerging demand for energy storage systems to provide clean power, highlights the urgent need to develop a strong and secure battery supply chain in the United States, Rod Colwell, CEO of Controlled Thermal Resources, told the press this week.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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