American Fork company to build network of lithium iron phosphate battery factories
An American Fork company is making an effort to bring the lithium iron phosphate battery supply chain to the United States.
American Battery Factory announced March 8 that it will develop the first network of lithium iron phosphate battery cell giga-factories in the U.S.
These factories would follow ABF’s “Factory-in-a-Box” template in order to allow for rapid construction and be made using a LEED-certified tensioned fabric membrane. According to the ABF website, the unique construction of these expandable structures would allow for the factories to scale from 3 gigawatt hours to 15 GWh annually. A gigawatt hour is the equivalent of 1 billion watt hours.
According to Paul Charles, the CEO and president of ABF, which has been incubated under Lion Energy, ABF’s primary reason for opening this network of giga-factories is national security.
“China controls 80% of all the production of lithium batteries in the world,” Charles said. “And from a national security perspective, that’s extremely concerning … so one of the key reasons that we’re doing this is for national security so we can make cells here in America that our government and military are comfortable do not have listening devices.”
Charles believes that making lithium iron phosphate batteries more widely available in the United States could help to ease the strain on America’s power grid and give battery owners more say in how they get and use their power.
“What’s gonna happen here in the U.S. is that it will be commonplace where you have solar panels on your roof and you’ll have a battery pack somewhere in your house and that’s how you’re going to have the ability to create your own energy, to store it, and then you deploy it so you can use it when you want,” Charles said.
According to a press release distributed by ABF, the company is focused on producing long-lasting, high-quality batteries.
“ABF’s LFP batteries will be designed to perform 10,000+ life cycles (full charge and discharge), which far exceeds the average performance of most other cobalt-based, lithium-ion batteries. While lead-acid batteries typically last two to three years, ABF batteries will have a 20-30-year life span,” according to the press release.
ABF also touts a focus on ethically sourcing safe materials for its batteries, saying the company avoids using cobalt, which is often mined using child labor, or nickel, which is known to be toxic and highly combustible.
While the locations and opening dates of these factories are still being worked out, Charles stated that they will be spread nationwide, hopefully including a facility in Utah.
“We absolutely love Utah; we’ve been incubated here, and we’d love to have a factory in Utah,” Charles said.