CA: Sparkz opens Livermore battery plant to customers

US battery manufacturer Sparkz has cut the ribbon at its Livermore facility in California. First opened as a pilot plant, it is now open for customers looking to produce zero-cobalt and zero-nickel batteries.

The vertically integrated facility will manufacture cathode active material (CAM), cells and modules to be integrated into complete battery systems for its initial customers, so Sparkz. The company has not disclosed who these customers are nor which capacity the factory is currently working on.

When launching a pilot line at Livermore almost a year ago, Sparks mentioned moving to shift a second product line from development to commercialisation. This appears to have happened now.

“Sparkz is excited to expand its progressive power company headquarters in California and begin re-engineering the battery supply chain,” said Sanjiv Malhotra, the Sparkz CEO.

As before, the company is receiving support through the California Energy Commission (CEC). They did not disclose to which extent, but Sparkz said it was investing over $700 million in the state and expected to create 800 jobs.

CEC Commissioner Patty Monahan was at the opening and said the Commission was “committed to supporting innovators like Sparkz to bring critical new technologies to market while creating clean transportation jobs today and into the future.”

Sparks is working towards solid-state batteries taking a zero-cobalt approach that they say offers double the energy density compared to other zero-cobalt batteries (LFP) predominantly made in China.

Livermore will be the Sparkz international headquarters, so the company. They also announced plans in August to set up shop in West Virginia for material processing and production of cells and modules.

Sparkz also collaborates with the Department of Energy’s national network of research labs, including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, on additional battery advancements.

Sanjiv Malhotra founded the company in 2019 and is himself a former US Department of Energy executive.

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