Lithium battery factories inaugurated in Los Angeles and Europe
Start-up Romeo Power has opened a lithium battery pack factory in Los Angeles, aimed at the EV and stationary energy storage markets, aiming to ramp up to 4GWh production capacity by next year.
Romeo Power, which has Porter Harris, a former SpaceX battery engineer, as CTO, hit headlines in late August when it mobilised US$100 million towards getting its manufacturing operations started. This included US$30 million which was raised in seed financing and a claimed US$65 million pipeline of advance orders. Romeo produces cylindrical cells for electric mobility and a stationary storage product called Powerstack.
The company has completed work on an 113,000 square foot battery pack manufacturing facility and held a ceremony last week to inaugurate it officially. The factory is in the city of Vernon near downtown Los Angeles, Romeo Power said. It will produce battery packs at all scales from 1kWh to 1MWh, with all devices designed, tested, engineered and produced at the site. The LA factory also has its own research and development facility.
By the end of this year, the factory should have produced 1GWh of battery packs, a production capacity the company says will quadruple to 4GWh during next year. Romeo said chief production officer Mark Schwager was previously responsible for overseeing the design and building of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.
While Romeo has given scant details on its battery technology, the company claims a 25% improvement in energy density over typical rivals’ devices and says its batteries can charge 15% to 30% faster than other comparable lithium batteries, as well as being protected against thermal runaway.