Domestic lithium battery supply chain is a key component of the near and longer-term energy transition. Tucson, Ariz. has been selected as the site for the first in a planned series of American Battery Factory (ABF) battery cell gigafactories based in the United States. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and ABF President and CEO Paul Charles teamed up on the announcement today.
The site will serve as ABF’s official headquarters and will be the country’s largest gigafactory for the production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells at approximately 2 million square feet. The company plans to have the headquarters, R&D center and initial factory module built within the next 18 to 24 months.
“Arizona is proud to be home to American Battery Factory’s first U.S. facility and headquarters,” said Governor Ducey. “This transformational investment proves once again that Arizona is the premier destination for emerging technologies. The state-of-the-art factory will produce battery cells critical to our energy future right here in Tucson. My thanks to Paul Charles and the entire team at American Battery Factory for choosing our state for its innovative facility.”
LFP battery cell chemistry is the most sought-after lithium battery chemistry in solar + storage projects because it is safer than other lithium chemistries, and ABF says its cells last more than double the average performance of other batteries.
“This investment represents a generational opportunity both for us as a company and for Tucson as a community as a means to truly make energy independence a reality for everyone,” said Charles. “Batteries make shifting to an entirely green energy economy possible. With this first factory, we will secure a strategically positioned company headquarters while taking the critical first steps in making it possible to one day move the country and the entire world to 100% renewable power.”
ABF’s headquarters is strategically located on 267 acres in Pima County’s renowned Aerospace Research Campus – close to world-class companies like Raytheon Missiles & Defense. With high-capacity border and transportation infrastructure, Tucson is an ideal fit for ABF’s vision and will provide the necessary access to ship battery cells to nearby markets.
“American Battery Factory joins prominent regional and corporate headquarters in Southern Arizona, such as Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Caterpillar and Hexagon’s Mining division, among others,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc. “This marquee project catapults Tucson into the national spotlight, ensuring this region has a prominent place in the energy storage and EV manufacturing supply chain being developed right here. With key advancements from ABF, Tucson will be a cutting-edge leader ushering in new EV technology and improved energy storage efficiency.”
Project partners include Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Commerce Authority, Sun Corridor Inc., Pima County, City of Tucson, Pima Community College and Tucson Electric Power.
ABF has secured strategic partnerships to make this landmark development a reality, partnering with Celgard (along with their parent company Asahi Kasei) for innovation and key cell components and Anovion for synthetic graphite. ABF plans to work with Honeywell to provide automation, cybersecurity and optimization products and services.
— Solar Builder magazine