- American Battery Factory will open a large-scale battery cell production facility in Tuscon, Arizona, kicking off a plan to create a network of U.S. gigafactories over the next three years.
- The 2 million-square-foot site will be the country’s largest gigafactory for lithium-iron phosphate batteries and serve as ABF’s official headquarters, the company said in a news release.
- Through rapid modular construction, the battery maker said it aims to complete the headquarters, R&D center and initial factory module within the next 18- to 24- months.
The batteries produced will be used for energy storage and to power EVs, offering an advantage in lifespan and maintenance over other leading batteries, CEO Paul Charles said in a September conversation on energy independence.
ABF will also supply batteries to the military, with Charles saying that providing the U.S. government with domestically produced batteries is one of ABF’s top focus areas. The initial production site in Arizona will be located on Pima County’s Aerospace Research Campus, with neighboring companies such as Raytheon Missiles & Defense.
“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,” Charles said in a statement.
It's unclear how many plants ABF plans to construct as part of its network, and the company didn't detail where future sites may be located. But ABF cited Tucson as an “ideal fit” for its first location given its high-capacity border and transportation infrastructure, which will provide access to ship battery cells to nearby markets.
Other electric vehicle players have made similar moves, locating operations in proximity to established transportation networks.
Startup Canoo, for example, chose to repurpose a vehicle manufacturing facility in Oklahoma City in part due to its established transportation system. Meanwhile, a Hyundai parts supplier located operations in proximity to the Port of Savannah for quick access to global markets.