Battery Business

Battery Business

Indiana is getting into the battery business in several big ways. Over the last few months, major investments have been announced that are sure to bring a charge to our economy.

Indiana has a vast network of all kinds of different supply manufacturers that support our state’s primary manufacturing operations. When demand comes from the top, like our leading auto manufacturers for example, all levels of the industry have the potential for gains. A key trend has been a growing demand for batteries – not just for vehicles, but for all types of manufacturing sectors.

In response to this demand, our battery manufacturing industry has been growing and creating lots of new employment opportunities for Hoosier communities.

 

Tier One Supplier Grows Alongside Massive Factory Investment

soulbrain MI, a tier one supplier for the electric vehicle industry headquartered in Michigan, is planning new operations in Kokomo. The company is investing $75 million to construct and equip a 30,000-square-foot facility that is expected to employ 75 workers by the end of 2025. Ground was broken on the project this spring.

soulbrain MI supplies large firms like LG, SK, and Samsung SDI, which produce batteries for the next generation of transportation and energy storage. The company is increasing production of high purity electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries, which will support the new $2.5 billion Stellantis and Samsung SDI EV battery plant that’s being built nearby.

Stellantis and Samsung SDI’s plans in Kokomo are simply massive. They are planning an EV battery factory that could grow to employ 1,400 workers and an investment that gradually grows to over $3.1 billion. Plant operations are expected to achieve an initial annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt hours (GWh), with an increase to 33 GWh over the next few years. Operations are planned to start in the first quarter of 2025.

 

New Gigawatt Factory Opens

EnPower, Inc., a “fast-charge” battery company, opened its first production facility in Indianapolis. This facility is dedicated to producing next generation American-made lithium-ion batteries and may eventually grow to house 350 employees. As of late last year, 60 jobs have been created thus far.

The 92,000-square-foot production facility will open with an initial capacity of 800 MWh, quickly growing excesses of 1 GWh. EnPower’s technology has gained a lot of attention because it delivers repeated fast charges without harmful battery degradation or compromising energy density. The capabilities for these batteries range from electric vehicles (EVs), outdoor lawn and power equipment, commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles, drones, marine, and aviation.

 

RV Manufacturer Invests $15M in Battery Company

Elkhart-based THOR Industries announced a $15 million strategic investment in Dragonfly Energy, a Nevada-based deep cycle lithium-ion battery producer for the RV industry. THOR and its subsidiaries represent the world’s largest manufacturer of RVs, and the company has been keenly focused on energy storage solutions for the last several years.

Dragonfly’s develops battery packs, energy systems, and cell manufacturing technologies. THOR officials said technologies like these will enable RV owners to “boondock, camp off the grid, and go or stay anywhere.” Officials also said that one of THOR’s goals is to preserve its lithium-ion battery supply chain and work with Dragonfly exclusively on co-development projects for RV industry-specific applications.

 

Two Companies, Potentially Multiple Projects

Two global companies are teaming up for a multi-phase battery production initiative in Indiana. Slobakia-based InoBat Auto, a supplier of premium batteries for EVs, and New York-based Ideanomics, a company that focuses on the adoption of commercial EVs, are planning a three-phase investment.

The first part of their plan is to open a new R&D and production facility in Indiana for battery module and pack assembly. This will have an initial annual production capacity of 100 MWh.

Both parties then aim to construct a full commercial-scale battery module and pack assembly plant with an initial 2-3 GWh yearly production capacity.

Finally, depending on offtake agreements, InoBat Auto is also exploring the option of to construct a tailor-made battery cell production facility with an initial 4 GWh annual capacity.

The cool thing about these plans is they have the potential to spur others. Both companies have expressed an interest in localizing their suppliers in the proximity of these facilities, and other clean technology companies may be attracted to Indiana as a result of these developments.

 

Connect Your Chargers

As more manufacturing companies deploy electrified options for their products, Hoosiers are very likely to see additional battery-powered investments in the future. This will be a great way to energize our state and secure our domestic supply chains for new generations of advanced technologies. Plus, tons of new job opportunities will become available for Hoosiers, which is a great thing for our economic growth.

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