Electric vehicle battery maker Italvolt‘s founder said on Tuesday he would launch a company to build a battery-manufacturing gigafactory in California that could serve about 650,000 EVs a year with an expected outlay of $4 billion.
The US is among many countries encouraging indigenous production of batteries and its materials in a bid to simplify supply chains for the booming EV industry and reduce dependence on Chinese manufacturing.
The new company, Statevolt, which will build a 54 gigawatt hours (GWh) factory in southern California’s Imperial Valley, also signed a letter of intent with renewable energy and lithium extraction company Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to purchase the mineral and geothermal power.
The company’s hyper-local business model will offer Statevolt “a significant advantage in producing lithium-ion batteries at scale”, Lars Carlstrom, Italvolt’s founder and chief executive, said in a statement.
Prices of lithium have soared over the past year as demand for the EV battery material rises, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
CTR extracts lithium from brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy, from its Hell’s Kitchen lithium and power project in California.
Statevolt is undertaking due diligence to determine the best location for the factory.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell