International Battery (IB), a U.S. manufacturer, designer, and developer of large-format lithium-ion rechargeable cells and batteries, today announced that it has submitted an application for a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the Recovery Act – Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative. International Battery’s proposal – entitled ‘Project American Lithium’ – provides comprehensive details on how it plans to significantly expand its existing, U.S.-based manufacturing capability.
“DOE is looking to stimulate an American manufacturing renaissance to supply next generation lithium batteries for emerging electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles. International Battery has already built a unique small factory in America and is shovel ready for expansion,” said International Battery Chairman, Mark Mills. “The company’s expansion plans can create hundreds of jobs and world-class large lithium batteries.”
The company’s unique manufacturing process is inherently green. IB batteries are fabricated using a water-based process instead of the common use of large quantities of organic solvent chemicals. IB’s aqueous process is not only environmentally friendly, and worker-friendly, but also permits lower costs.
According to International Battery’s CEO, Ake Almgren, “International Battery is one of a handful of lithium battery manufacturers able to fabricate truly large-format lithium battery cells. The company’s individual cells are ten to fifty times larger than those commonly labeled 'large format' today. Storing vehicle-vehicle scale and even more utility-scale quantities of electricity requires thousands of typical 'large' lithium cells – but radically fewer of our battery cells. Employing fewer cells to store the same quantity of energy lowers the cost of integrated battery systems and improves reliability and performance.”
The company’s Allentown, Pa., factory is the first purpose-built commercial manufacturer of next-generation large-format lithium ion batteries in the United States, and is helping to reverse the offshore flow of manufacturing capability. The company’s technology was originally based on an exclusive license from an established leading-edge Chinese battery manufacturing company. International Battery has subsequently further developed both the cell design and fabrication process advances.
In related news, the company closed its Series B funding round, which will support on-going expansion of the company’s existing manufacturing capabilities and marketing efforts. A number of earlier investors joined lead investor Digital Power Capital, a Wexford Capital affiliate.