Lars Carlstrom, the Swedish founder of Britishvolt and Italvolt, has announced plans for a $4bn US battery gigafactory through the newly founded company Statevolt.
Once operational, the gigafactory – to be constructed at a site in Imperial Valley in the far southeast of California – promises to be one of the largest in North America, with a production capacity of 54GWh of lithium-ion batteries a year, sufficient for 650,000 electric vehicles.
Statevolt’s business model is based on sourcing feedstock, lithium, and power from local resources and Carlstrom confirmed Statevolt has provided a letter of intent to Imperial Valley based geothermal energy business Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) for the supply of lithium and power to run the facility.
“Today, we face a significant shortage in the amount of lithium that is required to meet the demand for EVs,” said Carlstrom. “We are pioneering a new, hyper-local business model, which prioritises sustainability and resilience in the supply chain to solve this issue.”
Rod Colwell, CEO of CTR, said, “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 US.”
The “hyper-local” approach, the partners say, will minimise the environmental impact of production and build a more sustainable and secure supply chain, while simultaneously facilitating the development of a micro-industry, delivering up to 2,500 direct jobs for Imperial Valley and the region more widely.
CTR expects to generate 140 MW of geothermal energy and produce around 34,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent per year by 2027. Global lithium demand for EVs and storage applications is set to reach 383 kilotons by 2030, according to International Energy Agency forecasts.