Massive $4 billion EV factory to be built in Imperial Valley with lithium resources from Salton Sea

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Dicklyon, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

A Swedish entrepreneur says he has formed a new company to build a $4 billion, 54-gigawatt (GWh) hour electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in southern California’s  Imperial Valley

Lars Carlstrom, also the founder and CEO of Italy-based electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Italvolt and founder of Britishvolt, says the new venture will be named Statevolt.

The company is seeking out sites for the plant. It has already signed a Letter of Intent with Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to provide lithium and geothermal power from its Hell’s Kitchen project currently under construction at the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake. It has salinity 50% greater than the ocean — and is a massive lithium resource.

The gigafactory, when complete, will be one of the largest in North America. At full capacity it could serve 650,000 electronic vehicles.

CTR expects to deliver the project’s first 50 megawatts of baseload renewable power late next year and an estimated 20,000 tons of lithium hydroxide in 2024.

Statevolt said an April 19 statement that its partnership with CTR represents a new business model for lithium-ion battery development in the U.S., allowing the key resources of lithium and power to be sourced locally. This hyperlocal model, the company said, will help to minimize the environmental impact of production and build a more sustainable and secure supply chain.

“The development of lithium-ion batteries is crucial for the U.S. to meet its goals to transition to Net Zero,” Carlstrom said in the statement. “Statevolt is proud to begin its journey to develop U.S. expertise and production of lithium-ion batteries, as we look to serve this critical market.”

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