Speeding the Energy Transition
Jan. 24, 2023

Paul Charles, CEO American Battery Factory; Scaling Lithium Iron Phosphate Production in the US. EP 126

Paul Charles, CEO American Battery Factory; Scaling Lithium Iron Phosphate Production in the US. EP 126

Welcome to the Clean Power Hour. On today’s show, we are joined by Paul Charles, CEO of American Battery Factory. American Battery Factory is developing a network of ‘safe’ lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cell giga-factories in the United States to fuel stationary storage and EV batteries. They are building their flagship gigafactory in Tucson, AZ. ABF’s goal is developing a domestic battery manufacturing ecosystem that is key to making energy independence and renewable energy a reality for the United States. 

Paul Charles is an international serial entrepreneur, inventor of globally commercialized technology and an experienced senior executive focused on technology and energy. Charles has structured multiple companies, investment entities and funds and co-created an energy company dealing with PEMEX and CFE. In addition, he founded one of the first portable computing peripheral companies based in Silicon Valley, Arizona and Switzerland while he developed, patented and brought to market the first universal docking station for portable computers and created the first external bay replication products and commercialized them with IBM globally.

Today, Paul joins Tim Montague to discuss some of the key differences between Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries and its competition, the supply chain for these batteries, the difference between a large monolithic factory and a decentralized manufacturing location and much more. Tune in today to The Clean Power Hour!

Key Takeaways

  1. Paul’s background and how he got involved with American Battery Factory.
  2. What are some of the key differences between Lithium ion phosphate batteries and its competition?
  3. What’s the supply chain like for the American Battery Factory batteries?
  4. What’s the difference between a large monolithic factory and a decentralized manufacturing location?
  5. How many gigawatt hours of production American Battery Factory has the potential of reaching in the next five years?
  6. What is the demand for lithium iron phosphate batteries in North America?

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Transcript

Tim Montague:

There's a lot to like about the energy transition, we have the technology, we just need to deploy, deploy, deploy. But the battery industry is one of the more problematic ones. Most of the battery cells made in the world today come from China. And I have nothing against China, China is an amazing country. But there is potential for conflict between the US and China when it comes to many things, including Taiwan, which itself produces 70% of the integrated circuits in the world. So we need to make batteries here at home. And my guest today, American battery factory, has a wonderful story to tell. They have their roots in Utah, that are now establishing themselves in Tucson with the Gigafactory and global headquarters. And they are lining up the lithium supply chain, they are lining up the labour force and workforce development is front and centre for them. They're using some very unique construction methodology, which you'll have to listen to the interview to hear all Charles discuss. And it's just a it's a true blue American company. So this is a real treat to bring you American battery factory. Its heady days in the clean energy transition, but we need a lot more batteries. I'm Tim Montague, welcome to the Clean Power Hour, check out all of our content at clean power hour.com, please give us a rating and a review on Apple and Spotify so that others can find this content. Today on the Clean Power Hour American battery factory. My guest is Paul Charles, the CEO. Welcome to the show.

Paul Charles :

Thank you very much. So I'm looking forward to having an active, interesting conversation here.

Tim Montague:

I love the name. And I know that's partly because of the name of the town where you are founded. But you know, we do need more batteries made in America. And of course, the the IRA the inflation Reduction Act is breathing new wind into American manufacturing here in the winter of 2022. And there's there's, you know, I think over a dozen battery factories now slated to come to the US and you have some recent news as well about a factory you're building. But give us a little background on yourself, Paul and how you got involved with ABF.

Paul Charles :

Great, I certainly appreciate the opportunity today here. For the last 30 years I've been commercialising technologies on a global basis here of some of which have developed myself and others been fortunate enough to be with very, very smart scientists and inventors and companies with that. But there's been a constant thread of energy focus throughout this. Early in my career, I started the company based out of Switzerland as well as out of the US Silicon Valley and in Scottsdale, in which we made assessories peripherals for many of the laptop manufacturers on a global basis. Everything from battery chargers to auto adapters to docking technologies on that. And it was really an incredible experience to say the least, started off with my son's bedroom and from there grew that over 11 years and had a an exit with that. And then from there just did some interesting projects as well to the power side that ended up going into Mexico and having opportunities to work with Pemex and CFE. The state owned enterprises on that. And then after that had an opportunity to move from Scottsdale, Arizona up here to Utah and helped put together a stealth nanotechnology entity in which we figured out how to take greenhouse gate gases and convert those into selectable nanocarbon. Specific specifically carbon nanotubes, along with carbon black, and the only byproduct being distilled water. After doing that for quite a few years, and being able to get to the pilot stage with that, then exited from that and was introduced to a company here in Utah called lion energy and lion is a is really an interesting company. They're one of the fastest growing companies here in Utah. And they've spent about a decade providing product into the marketplace when I say product, they're their focus is energy storage products. They design and test everything here in Utah. However, like the rest of the industry, they manufacture in China because China has the infrastructure they have the understanding of how to to build these things in volume. They realised a few years ago that it was kind of important to see Prior to onshore This is pre pandemic, by the way, but they were missing one one important thing. And that thing was a battery cell. And I was introduced to them, and they told me what the revision was. And I thought this was this is really great, this is something we absolutely need to do. But the challenge for them is to be able to have a US manufacturing source for cells, which are made specifically to last a long time with a safe chemistry and some other attributes with that. And so after understanding that, went away, and did some due diligence, and came back and actually put together a proposal for them, and that was really the genesis of American battery factory. And so there's a few things I want to make sure it's rather clear on that is, American battery factory is a separate entity from Lyon energy. And our goal and focus is really to enable energy independence in America, but also to enable that around the world. Lyon energy has signed our first offtake agreement with America battery factory for 18 gigawatts, over a five year timeframe. And it's really been wonderful because it's not often you have a customer that is literally incubating the source of a key component in their product that they're taking into the marketplace. So we've had full access to you know, a couple 100 employees say heavy on the engineering side of that, and it's really been a wonderful experience. With that.

Tim Montague:

I'll, I'll interject that. I am familiar with Lyon because I bought several of their batteries for my RV a couple years ago. And I really enjoyed their customer service. And they have quite a community of followers here in the US. So just that was a very good experience, solid product, lithium iron phosphate is what we're talking about in and I know, that's the focus of ABF, as well as lithium iron phosphate, differentiate lithium iron phosphate, if you would, that chemistry from, you know, some of the competing technologies that are used in both stationary and portable or, you know, electric vehicles,

Paul Charles :

be more than happy to in terms of lithium, there's, there certainly needs to be a lot of education in the marketplace across a broad spectrum of folks that use the term but a lithium ion battery is a very broad umbrella. And there's multiple chemistries, many chemistries with within that, within that reference point, I just for simplicity's sake, I tried to essentially put them into two different buckets. One is a lithium chemistry that requires a lot of power, essentially, on the Eevee side, you want to be able to move your, your Eevee from zero to 60 fairly quickly within seconds. And so energy, and the power side of that is very important. So the energy density associated with that key components is important. And so on the lithium side of chemistry that deals mainly with EVs, they have cobalt and nickel. And that allows them to really have a wonderful amount of power. But there's also pros and cons associated with that, which I'll talk about in a moment here. The The other aspect of lithium batteries is really more along the side of the energy component, and energy capability. And that's where we're focusing with lithium iron phosphate. So the bucket that we are mainly focused in does not use cobalt, it does not use nickel. And why is that important? And how are these differences? Safety is really the key aspect for us. And with lithium iron phosphate, or short we just call it L F. P is is one of the safest chemistries out there. It actually was invented in the US a couple decades ago. They did that in conjunction with Asahi Casaya, which is a large Japanese multinational as well, that this is a chemistry that's had a lot of testing associated with it. It's very difficult for it to catch on fire to have what we call an industry thermal event. And if it does, conventional ways of putting out a fire worked quite well on that for fire suppression. If we can talk briefly about the Eevee side, the more power related cells that allow you to move very quickly with a with an Eevee. The cobalt and nickel are problematic. Russia has somewhere between 10 and 20% of the global supply of nickel, and that in and of itself causes issues in the supply chain. But let's talk specifically about cobalt. Cobalt is a an incredibly energy dense material that provides wonderful attributes in terms of really being able to move your Eevee along quickly. But the supply chain is challenged as a nice way to put it. Most of it comes out of Africa out of the Congo. And it's, there's about a quarter million people involved with that whole process there. And it's really kind of a slave labour environment with that, about 10% of that are actually children. And so I know that they're trying to bring other sources online with that. But fortunately, we do not have to use cobalt, we do not have to use nickel. We simply use lithium, and phosphates and some carbon or some iron. So it's essentially fertiliser with similar Thea mix stems. So it's a lot easier in terms of supply chain to be able to source this.

Tim Montague:

Now in terms of the performance of cobalt, or nickel, cobalt versus LFP, is there a delta? Are you able to tune that LFP chemistry to give you equivalent power?

Paul Charles :

Great question with that, I'm LFP. The the key differences between LFP and the cobalt and nickel lithium chemistries. As I said, a safety The other aspect is longevity or cycle life. Typically, with LFP, you're gonna get multiple times two and three times the cycle life, our chemistry and our cells are really geared to last 20 to 30 years, versus most Evie batteries are in the eight to 10 year timeframe with that. So cycle life is extremely important to be able to do that LFP does not have the same energy density associated with that. But the three areas in which we're focused is obviously energy storage, both of the residential, the commercial, as well as the grid level. The second area of focus is electric vehicles that are have specific applications. And what I mean by specific applications, buses, trucks, mining equipment, vehicles that typically are industrial commercially focused, and want to last a very long time, weights typically not an issue for them. And safety is a big, big deal for them as well. And the third area that we're focused is military and government needs. We're in the midst of moving our entire supply chain to the US and North America. Also, the the key founders are all US citizens as well. This is homegrown technology that's been enhanced and augmented with consultants literally from around the world.

Tim Montague:

Well, I love it that, you know, you've, you've got a storage product that seems to have many applications, I love the national security as aspects of this, you know, renewable energy and energy storage are huge national security issues in general. Because China is going after it very hard. And, and they are the, you know, the gorilla in the room in terms of manufacturing power, you know, upwards of 70% of storage products are coming out of China and Asia. And, you know, let's face it, the grid needs so much more storage. I don't I don't have that number on the tip of my tongue. But it is massive. And you know, we clearly have the solar and wind, and now energy storage technology to completely green the grid and green transportation and then electrify transportation. And we're gonna electrify heavy industry. It's just a matter of how quickly we can deploy, deploy, deploy. And so let's talk a little bit about supply chain and how is it that you're gonna get your grubby hands on enough lithium and other materials that go into these batteries?

Paul Charles :

Yes, and that is a massive challenge. If you don't mind, I'd like to give a little background on the grid side. And then we can certainly go into the supply chain. But the estimated need within the US by the end of this decade is about 6000 gigawatts of energy storage. So six Terra Terra, terawatts of power. That is a tremendous amount of energy storage that's necessary on this and and the percentages? You're correct. It's over 70% of all lithium cells are currently manufactured in China. If we look at specifically towards LFP, lithium iron phosphate, it's over 90%. And it's there's very, very little production of LFP cells outside of China. And then the US it's simply, it's not really been scaled to volume. We expect to be the largest supplier of LFP prismatic cells actually in the US US. So in terms of the supply chain, it's definitely challenging. Fortunately, we've only had a couple dozen or so components that go into ourselves. And we're happy we're not building the car, because it would be much more challenging than in terms of lithium and iron and phosphates, iron plentiful in the US and North America, phosphates also need to be able to have increased volume production in North America. And that's it's on its way with that the lithium side is definitely a challenge. I've had a chance to go out and look at different locations around the world. Here in the US, I had a chance to go to factor Pass, which is will be announced, I believe to be the largest supply or reserve of lithium globally. And it's on the border of Oregon and Nevada, about three hours from civilization. And I had a chance to spend a whole day there with a PhD that literally had written or dissertation on that particular area. And what I can say to that, it's it's really kind of amazing on that other parts and pieces from the environmental perspective came together 60 million years ago. And the way this has been approached has been very environmentally conscientious from that perspective, as they've also included the native tribes in the area, they've been very aware of the water usage. In fact, they purchased a farm that was in the in the area, so they can actually have a water capability and water rights. So the net effect is that there's no additional usage of water, I listened to an NPR segment on this literally when I was flying back. And, and it was really interesting, because so much of the information simply wasn't accurate. And I was very impressed with the way in which they have gone about really taking it to the next level in terms of making sure that we're doing this safely, soundly and with good stewardship towards the land, as well as the people in the area. So that's one area in which there's, there will be lithium, and as a scale that up. There's multiple other areas from the Salton Sea in which they have Brian, they are extracting lithium, and from my mind locations as well, as well as hard rock, the US has lithium, the challenges is that they haven't been able to scale it up as quickly as necessary. And I certainly hope that that's something that will indeed be able to be scaled very quickly. Other areas in the world have had a jump on this. As I said, you know, China has been making these battery making batteries for a couple of decades, and they've been able to put together a supply chain. That is pretty remarkable. Australia is a key source of lithium along with the Golden Triangle in South America, where you have Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. And that's where the bulk of the current sourcing on lithium is coming forth. I am a big believer in supply and demand in terms of motivation. As the demand for lithium has accelerated, the exploration and the processing has also increased. The challenge we have in the US is that we have environmental regulations, which makes it quite challenging in order to do this. We also have an environment in which anybody can sue anybody for anything. And it was it's been interesting to see really what business some of these companies that are in the business of supposedly providing lithium in the marketplace. I asked one of the CEOs, you know, how much time do you spend, you know, relative to dealing with litigation versus actually extracting the product. And he showed me page after page after page of of lawsuits that they've had to deal with in the last dozen years. So I really hope that this is an area in which we can move forward with a couple of weeks ago, I was in Detroit chairing a conference on supply, a supply chain and Director of Energy was was there that dealt specifically with the sector. So and that's one of the conversations that we're able to have at the conference on that and they're, they're aware of the challenges and they're trying to make it easier, but making sure that all the parties are properly represented at the table.

Tim Montague:

Hey everybody, thanks for listening to the Clean Power Hour or viewing it on YouTube. We do have a great YouTube channel. If you're not subscribed, please go to clean power dot group and hit that YouTube icon and subscribe to our channel. Of course you can find all of our content on your favourite audio platform as well. Also, please give us a rating and review back to the show. So when you think about scaling, lithium iron phosphate cell production here in the US, and we should note that you have recently announced a factory that is going to get developed in Tucson, Arizona, a photo of that is behind you. Tell us a little bit about that project. And, you know, what are the things that are keeping you up at night? It sounds like you're you're working out the lithium supply chain, crossing fingers for that. And but tell us about Tucson and what are your plans for scaling?

Paul Charles :

Absolutely, just quick, additional comments in the supply chain aspect of this is that we have what we need in America and in North America, Canada is coming on. Mexico has incredible resources on that. We simply haven't scaled to the volumes that we need to have. And the numbers and the projections that I've seen, it's, we're going to be in deficit positions. For for the, for the next several years on that. But I I'm a big believer in the innovation of people here in this country. If there's a need, if there's a demand, the ability to adapt and create new technology, which will allow us to bring what's necessary into the marketplace, is something that is always been a part of the the American perspective and dealing with a lot of inventors over the last 30 years, it's we just need to be a tune insensitive and support those that that have ideas that may be a little bit different. But let's, let's see about that and how we can scale that. So relative to our announcement last week, and this has been a long time in coming, the journey has been literally about a year, looking for a location in which we could have our headquarters and be able to grow out from there. First, I want to make sure it's really clear in terms of our perspective of what American battery factory is doing. We've we've had a chance to really understand how the rest of the world is standing up their factories. And we're taking a distinctly American approach to this, we've reviewed every aspect of the manufacturing aspect, including the supply chain, with this and American battery factories. Implementation Plan is to actually set up a network of decentralised factories that are using rapid construction. So we're starting with this first location to sign of which I'll explain a little bit more in a moment here. But we will be expanding out across the US across North America. And across the world. The idea and concept is quite unique. And it's really been embraced, we've had multiple countries fly in and meet with us, because they want to be a part of something that's, that makes sense. And it also takes into effect. So many aspects of being able to produce a product that that sensitive to the local area. So in terms of Tucson, Arizona, we started, like I said about a year ago, looking at states all across the US here, we we've got an extensive criteria and scoring list of which we try to stay true to that. But but also we're open for additional ways in which to evaluate sites, we then move that down to about 12 states and did additional due diligence on on the opportunities to work within those states. And and then from there, we went to two states. And ultimately, was really Arizona that one out. They were one of the very first states that gave us a proposal, literally I think it was in January of this year. And that proposal really kind of turned out to be the standard by which all of their states were really compared to they referring to to Arizona really understand the need and the process by which an ecosystem and supply chain can be put together. There's a lot of companies in the electrification space that have found found a home in Arizona and we clearly understand why on that. Once once we were able to narrow it down to Arizona per se. We then looked at state sites all over the all over from north to central down down to south. And at the end of the day, it was really the people to be able to sit down with the mayor of Tucson and to be able to understand and see her vision to be able to talk with the local utilities, the educational institutions that were there, along with the economic development people there it was, it was refreshing. It was wonderful. And it was really kind of interesting how two sided almost been overlooked because so much of the focus is on the Phoenix Valley. Right? It's 100 miles from east to west. Lots of activity up there. Tucson is about an hour a half, two hour drive south of there. And what we found is a lot of the companies that are stationed in position and Phoenix are starting to put their r&d centres, their test tracks an hour south of there. So just on the way to Tucson, as we looked at locations in Tucson, specifically, we were able to find a great area, it's 267 acres right next to the airport. And it's part of a large Aerospace Research Park, that they've been developing and bringing online here for a decade, to be able to walk to a site that very needed very little changes in terms of the typography itself. But to have most of the utilities stubbed, right there was was pretty refreshing to say the least. And to have the and to have the local utility TDP step up and say, we will make sure that you have power. And that's one of the biggest challenges that we find in the US is fine finding sufficient power to run these factories, it is it's a lot of power, you can run a smaller city, off the power that we need in order to actually fabricate the cells. And unless you've planned ahead, you're not just going to pick up, you know, the ability to order transformers and substations and things of that nature. They're years out in terms of component tree. So to be able to have a location that really had had the foresight to be able to prepare the location for a company like ours was was wonderful. Let me talk specifically about what will be in Tucson, this will be our global headquarters, from which we really will be inviting the world to come and see how you can manufacture in a clean and green environment using rapid construction. We'll also have an r&d centre there with a fairly good number of PhDs and technical people, we also will be adding what we call our foundry. And our foundry is gigawatt level machinery that allows us to take a technology that works really, really well in the laboratory at the bench level. But it simply hasn't had the chance to scale. And that's something that's not available currently in North America, essentially, you really have to go to China for that. And from a national security issue, that in a funding issue that really isn't an option for technology that's been funded by the US government. And so our foundry will be a really, from our perspective, a national resource that will allow us to take technology and scale it up, some of this is going to work and some of it's not going to work. But to have the ability to make sure it's going to work in a giga factory before you put it in as a unique aspect. And that's another comment that I'd like to make on that that there's wonderful, wonderful technology that that's here that's been here for years, that simply is not being used in Giga factories, because not many people are going to shut a giga factory down, introduce something new, and in the hopes of making sure that it works. The Foundry will allow us to do that. And then the last thing I'd like to talk about, obviously, is the giga factory itself. We're doing this in a pod, or a modular approach. And we're using a rapid construction technology with a structure that's called tension membrane. Each of these pods or modules will be producing between three and five gigawatts of annualised production. Early on when I talked about decentralised, manufacturing location, we're serious about that, what you typically see in these large Giga factories or large monolithic facilities that can literally take 1000s of acres, and some of them are 10,000 or more workers, and they need massive amounts of power. So when you add all those characteristics that they're looking for up, we're talking about a rural environment. There's not many places in the US or frankly, in the world, that have the workforce available, and the power available in these rural environments. So rather than doing that, and literally it can, it can really change the nature of the announcement of such a large monolithic giga factory from something that's wonderful. Billions of dollars, you know, wonderful announcement to the reality of how do they find the workforce are they ended up you know, poaching from from 711, and from local businesses. It goes from a wonderful situation to, you know, this isn't really great for the local businesses. So our perspective is to understand what the resources in an area are first, and then scale this accordingly. We use incredibly automated and robotic equipment, and we believe will be the most automated, truly automated cell factory in the world because the US technology that we will be using, but we're only we're able to scale our factories from 300 people to 1000 people and that allows us to be able to produce anywhere from three to 16 gigawatts on an annualised basis, let me pause for a moment because I'm sure you have questions.

Tim Montague:

Well, you know, this, this makes me think about Tesla and their emphasis on building the machine that makes the machine and so you know, I love it, that you're you're hardcore about an efficient construction methodology and building a factory with components as much as possible that are coming from the US, when you compare yourself to what Tesla is doing. How do you compare in terms of your ability to scale to volume because because obviously, six terawatts is a lot of batteries. And and we need to be producing, you know, hundreds and hundreds of gigawatts per year. How do you how do you see that?

Paul Charles :

Yeah, and by the way, Tesla has really been, they've been amazing. I mean, frankly, they, they coined the phrase, giga, giga factory, right, they did not even trademark it, but they did trademark Giga beer. Anyway, that's a whole nother conversation. But that there's so much to learn from from Tesla, and incredibly appreciative of the of the vision and, and how they've actually been able to execute on that. The tension membrane structure that's behind me here. I actually discovered that about eight, almost nine years ago. Now, a Tesla has used the same tension brain membrane technology in their Fremont facility when they stood up, what was 137,000 square feet or so in 19 days. So it's it's been used in the manufacturing space, but nobody's ever used it in the in the battery space before. And some of the interesting attributes on that is that it's the the structure itself, that's as, as you've pointed out, the virtuals behind me here, can literally be fabricated in North America, 500,000 square foot building in 10 weeks, and then it can be shipped down and shipping containers and stood up in about 10 weeks. It's seismic rated 180 mile an hour sustained winds. It's LEED certified, there's essentially no waste at the site, and it's airtight. And it's about 30% cheaper than traditional construction. One of the challenges that other gigafactories have is a lead time on an I beam, recently, I was told was 53 weeks, so it takes a long time to stand factory's up. So utilising existing technology. But applying it in cell manufacturing allows us to be able to stand up our factories very, very quickly. And being attune to enhancements and other technologies. And being open to being able to implement these is super important to us. In terms of scaling. The first pod that we have here, we believe that we will be able to be in production in 2020. For the later half. We've also been able to put together a global, a multinational team of the best of the industry in each of their sectors. So far, we've announced the site Casaya. As I mentioned earlier, they literally were one of the companies that invented the lithium ion battery. They're also a supplier of a key ingredient with that. And that relationship has been absolutely wonderful. They've opened doors and allowed us to, to really understand the technologies that are out there. We've also had a strategic partnership with the largest supplier of synthetic graphite here in North America, we'll be announcing strategic partnerships with a very large multinational, that will be working on our supply chain to make sure that all our factories have sufficient levels of raw componentry. We will be announcing also a strategic partnership tenure teaming agreement with one of the best automation companies on the face of this planet here. And, and a couple other companies of that nature, particularly an EPC company that has done projects in virtually every country around the world. So it basically got out and tried to find the best in each of these sectors, pull it together focus on North America initially, and then from there, we'll grow it out. This first location in Tucson will truly be a template, every single bolt. The torque factors on those and every aspect of standing this thing up will be documented. So when the next factory and factories are announced, they'll go up quite quickly, essentially a factory in a box five to 600. Shipping Containers show up, the structure comes out the equipment that fabricates itself comes out. And we're able to stand these things up very, very quickly we can do the calibration and commissioning because of the incredible level of automation. It will really be a new standard by which factories can step be stood up very, very quickly. And so in terms of being able to reach that need in that demand, all's I can say is after we do this first one here and learn that things that we don't know right now. We will then move very, very quickly in North America and around the world to stamp these Stanley's factories up.

Tim Montague:

And so tell us about the the five year plan and you know, how many gigawatt or gigawatt hours of production Do you see ABF reaching in the next five years?

Paul Charles :

That's, that's also a wonderful question on that, what I what I can refer to is, as the public information that we've provided in Arizona, over the next five years will grow from three to 16 gig at this site. That's what we've said publicly based upon demand and available resources as well, we've got plenty of room to expand at this 267 acre campus, we also have been approached in and we'll be accepting proposals for colocation partners on this and what I mean by that is, we just make the cells, we then provide those to system integrators and pack integrators, they actually turn ourselves into something of value that you can buy at Costco, or you can, or the grid can buy a 40 foot shipping container that that's that's ready to go. And that's done with the groups that are able to take ourselves essentially like Legos, put them together, put battery management systems, automated cooling systems, heating systems on that, and have a product that you can put into your house or in your business or at the at the grid level on that. So we've got a couple of companies that have already requested to co locate with us. That's why we have additional property on that, we also hope to have additional manufacturing, that's further upstream, where the processing is actually will be occurring. And whether it's the cathode material, or whether it's, you know, certain components that go into the cells, we want to have a complete, viable ecosystem that's rather broad based at at our particular location with that, and we really think that that's, it's a good model in order to grow and to move forward with not just here in the US, but other locations around the world, of which we will eventually help to create regionalized and potentially country, sovereign specific supply chains relative to

Tim Montague:

this, and what can you say about customers,

Paul Charles :

the need and the demand far outstrips the supply, we, we want to make sure that we allocate our production based upon those companies that we really believe are serving the, the right, the right area, the right focus, and, and very much have a perspective of stewardship to the workforce along to the along with the environment. As we've just talked about here, the demand is actually rather massive. There is very few entities in North America, frankly, outside of China, that are really focused on using lithium iron phosphate in a prismatic Canna most of them are using a different form factor pouches is a common form factor on that or a cylindrical. But to be able to use a large Aluminium can, there's actually a lot of technology that goes into that. And when you have a cell that's built to last 20 to 30 years to have a chemical reaction that occurs within a enclosure, you want to have that thing as strong as strong as possible with that. So in terms of where we where we believe that the volume will go. As I said, as soon as we do have this first plant up and running and things are going well, we will be expanding out very quickly. And really it will be dependent upon what the workforce environment and the power capability in a particular area is. In terms of workforce, we've we've partnered up with a local community college that has put together the centre Centres of Excellence. In Tucson, for instance, in the next few months here, there'll be completing an advanced manufacturing centre that will be training our employees, you couldn't write the game plan any better than this beautiful state of the art facility. We'll be working in conjunction with them to create a syllabus to train them. And so as they come out of that programme, and these are many programmes that lasts for a few months, they then are able to go directly on onto the line, as well as into other areas within our factory itself. I do want to mention too, that we have an apprenticeship programme that we're continuing to expand that literally starts at the high school and goes all the way through PhD programmes. So we're big believers in making sure there's hands on opportunity for those students that would like to be able to do more than just read something out of the book or, or or look at a video will I actually be able to be in a state of the art facility, whether it's r&d, or whether it's controlling these, these robots and automated vehicles, it's going to be a pretty cool situation with that. So to net it all up, we will move as quickly as we possibly can. And we're trying to address every single issue that we're aware of on the supply chain in order to mitigate those and to increase the volume and the quality of those particular items.

Tim Montague:

I'm glad you mentioned workforce, and we'd like to be a conduit here at the Clean Power Hour. So reach out to us if you're looking for a connection in the clean energy transition. We love to make introductions for our listeners. Please check out all of our content at clean power hour.com Subscribe to our YouTube channel there just click on that YouTube icon and give us a rating and a review on Apple and Spotify that helps others find this content and helps us speed the energy transition which is our mission here at the Clean Power Hour. I want to thank Paul Charles for joining me today. Wonderful news about homemade lithium iron phosphate batteries here in America. We wish you the best, Paul and how can our listeners find you

Paul Charles :

please go to our website American battery factory.com. If there's interest in collaborating with us and any sense of the world, please fill a form out if there's interest from the workforce perspective. There's forums on that as well too. We're here to help establish a supply chain to help America.

Tim Montague:

Thank you so much. I'm Tim Montague. Let's grow solar and storage