Welcome to Energy Scope and Trends, a weekly editorial that aims to keep you informed about the latest news and developments in the energy industry in bits.
In this week's issue, we cover a range of topics that are shaping In this week's issue, we cover a range of topics that are shaping the future of energy. First, we discuss Tata Group's plan to build one of Europe's largest battery gigafactories in the UK, which is expected to boost the country's battery manufacturing capacity significantly. Next, we examine Graphite One's recent success in securing a US$5 million loan from Taiga Mining Company after receiving a US$37.5 million DoD grant. This funding will help the company accelerate the completion of its feasibility study for the Graphite Creek project in Alaska, which could contribute significantly to the country's battery industry.
We also look into Amprius Technologies' breakthrough battery technology and its collaboration with the U.S. Army to develop safe and high-energy battery cells for the Conformal Wearable Batteries (CWB), the central power source for U.S. Army soldiers. This achievement represents a significant milestone in the development of advanced battery technologies that address the evolving needs of the armed forces.
Finally, we discuss Tesla's recent milestone of reaching 45,000 Supercharger stalls worldwide, providing fast and convenient charging for its electric vehicles. This network is one of the key advantages of the company in the EV market, enabling its customers to travel long distances and reduce range anxiety.
Tata Group to Build One of Europe’s Largest Battery Gigafactories in the UK
The Tata Group, a global enterprise headquartered in India, has announced plans to establish a battery cell gigafactory in the UK with a capacity of 40GW per year. Over £4 billion investment will create thousands of skilled jobs and strengthen the UK’s lead in the global transition to electric vehicles and renewable energy.
The gigafactory, which will start production in 2026, will supply battery cells and packs for a variety of applications within the mobility and energy sectors. The company’s own businesses, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors will be anchoring customers for the plant.
The project is integral to the Tata Group’s commitment to a sustainable future across all of its businesses. The plant will use state-of-the-art technology and innovative processes to maximize its renewable energy mix, minimize its environmental impact and recycle all the original raw materials used in the battery production.
The Tata Group has a long-standing presence in the UK, with many companies operating in various sectors such as technology, consumer, hospitality, steel, chemicals and automotive. The group has a revenue of $128 billion and employs over 935,000 people globally. The group was founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868 and has a mission to improve the quality of life of the communities it serves.
The announcement was welcomed by the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who said that the Tata group’s decision to build their new gigafactory in the UK was a huge vote of confidence in Britain and one of the largest-ever investments in the UK automotive sector.
He added that it would not only create thousands of skilled jobs for Britons around the country but also help to grow the economy in clean industries of the future.
Graphite One Secures US$5 Million Loan After Receiving US$37.5 Million DoD Grant
Graphite One Inc. has secured an unsecured loan agreement for up to US$5 million with Taiga Mining Company, Inc., a company's controlling shareholder. This comes after the announcement of a US$37.5 million U.S. Department of Defense grant to accelerate the completion of Graphite One's feasibility study for its Graphite Creek project in Alaska, which is the largest known flake graphite resource in the U.S. and among the largest in the world.
The loan will be used to double the Graphite Creek resource by infill drilling along the trend to Hole 22GC079, drilled 2.1 km west of the current block model, which encountered 58 meters of 4.18% graphite. The loan has a maturity of one year and an interest rate of 12% per annum. As consideration for the loan, Graphite One granted Taiga an option to purchase a net smelter returns royalty interest in 0.25% increments for every US$1,250,000 advance up to a maximum of 1% on the 133 Alaska state claims owned or leased by Graphite One.
Graphite One's supply chain strategy aims to mine, process, and manufacture anode materials primarily for the lithium-ion electric vehicle battery market. The project plan includes an advanced graphite material and battery anode manufacturing plant expected to be sited in Washington State integrated with the development of the Graphite Creek property. The plan also includes a recycling facility to reclaim graphite and other battery materials, to be co-located at the Washington State site, as part of Graphite One's circular economy strategy.
Anthony Huston, Founder and CEO of Graphite One, expressed gratitude to Taiga for its continued support, stating that the funding will allow the company to continue delineating the scope and size of their resource. He further stated that this funding, like the US$37.5 million DoD grant announced this week, is not dilutive to Graphite One's shareholders.
Amprius Delivers Breakthrough Battery Technology for the US Army
Amprius Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation lithium-ion batteries with its Silicon Anode Platform, has successfully completed a critical technology development program in collaboration with the U.S. Army.
The program, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, aimed to develop and deliver safe and high-energy battery cells for the Conformal Wearable Batteries (CWB), the central power source for U.S. Army soldiers. Amprius achieved a major milestone by delivering its 390 Wh/kg safe cells with a gel polymer electrolyte, which passed the rigorous Military Performance Specification Nail Penetration Test.
The safe cells, when integrated into a battery pack, offer more than double the energy density of existing solutions, significantly extending mission time and reducing the weight and volume of the batteries. The CWB packs are designed to be flexible and conform to the body shape of the soldiers, enhancing their mobility and comfort.
In addition to the technology development program, Amprius made significant progress in its Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program, which focused on scaling up the mass production processes for safe cells. The company successfully achieved its manufacturing milestone and is ready to deliver large quantities of safe cells for battery packs that meet the Army's requirements.
Amprius is working closely with its partner, Inventus Power, a global leader in advanced battery systems, to deliver the CWB packs to the U.S. Army before the end of 2023. The company expects to produce over 100,000 CWB packs per year at its facility in Fremont, California.
Dr Kang Sun, CEO at Amprius Technologies, expressed immense pride in the successful completion of the technology development program for the US Army soldiers' central power source, the CWB. He further stated that this accomplishment solidifies their commitment to delivering innovative battery solutions that surpass industry standards and address the evolving needs of the armed forces. At Amprius, their teams in Fremont, California, are committed to delivering state-of-the-art technologies that provide game-changing performance for soldiers.
Amprius Technologies, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of high-energy and high-power lithium-ion batteries producing the industry's highest-known energy density cells. The company's corporate headquarters are in Fremont, California, where it maintains an R&D lab and a pilot manufacturing facility for the fabrication of silicon anodes and cells.
Tesla Superchargers Reach 45,000 Stalls Worldwide
Tesla has announced that it has reached a milestone of 45,000 Supercharger stalls across the world, offering fast and convenient charging for its electric vehicles. The company has been rapidly expanding its Supercharger network since its launch in 2012, adding 10,000 stalls in the past year alone.
The Supercharger network covers over 30 countries and regions, including Europe, China, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Tesla also offers native compatibility with different charging standards, such as CCS2 and GB/T, to enable charging for non-Tesla EVs in some markets.
Tesla is also working on improving the power and speed of its Superchargers, with the introduction of the V4 Superchargers that can potentially deliver up to 600 kW of peak power. The company is also rumored to be testing 300 kW and 324 kW versions of its V3 Superchargers.
Tesla's Supercharger network is one of the key advantages of the company in the EV market, as it provides a reliable and convenient way for its customers to travel long distances and reduce range anxiety. The company plans to continue expanding and upgrading its Supercharger network to meet the growing demand for EV charging.