Landmark site in Pima County marks major milestone for American Battery Factory’s launch of the first in a planned network of gigafactories to produce LFP battery cells
TUCSON, Ariz., December 7, 2022 — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Paul Charles, President and CEO of American Battery Factory (ABF), have announced that Tucson, Ariz. has been selected as the site for the first in a planned series of battery cell gigafactories based in the United States. The site will serve as ABF’s official headquarters and will be the country’s largest gigafactory for the production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells at 2 million square feet, providing an estimated $1.2 billion in capital investment, $3.1 billion in economic impact to the state and accelerating the growth of the clean energy economy across the country. Approximately 300 high-paying jobs will be provided in the first phase of the factory’s opening, scaling up to 1,000 cumulative jobs. Positions include operations, production, scientific and technology jobs including research and development, automation and robotics, executive and other headquarter positions.
“Arizona is proud to be home to American Battery Factory’s first U.S. facility and headquarters,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “This transformational investment proves once again that Arizona is the premier destination for emerging technologies. The state-of-the-art factory will produce battery cells critical to our energy future right here in Tucson. My thanks to Paul Charles and the entire team at American Battery Factory for choosing our state for its innovative facility.”
The LFP battery cell chemistry ABF will employ allows for the production of the safest, longest-lasting, most reliable and eco-friendly batteries currently available. Avoiding the use of nickel and cobalt, ABF’s materials are more ethically sourced and last more than double the average performance of other batteries, making them an ideal option for durable and dependable energy storage systems. The cells will empower consumers, households, business owners and electric utilities to automate the management of their own inventory of power, gaining the independence to optimize and transform energy usage on their own terms. Energy storage made possible by ABF can power on-the-go lifestyles, off-the-grid living and industrial utilities as well as public industries and sectors.
“This investment represents a generational opportunity both for us as a company and for Tucson as a community as a means to truly make energy independence a reality for everyone,” said Charles. “Batteries make shifting to an entirely green energy economy possible. 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. We are honored to start this journey in Tucson and give back to the community through innovation, quality job creation, revenue generation and environmental protection.”
To be located on 267 acres in Pima County’s renowned Aerospace Research Campus – close to world-class companies like Raytheon Missiles & Defense – ABF’s headquarters will be the home of energy storage innovation, with opportunities for new technology development. Through rapid modular construction the company plans to have the headquarters, R&D center and initial factory module built within the next 18 to 24 months. Using cutting-edge construction technology, the building will greatly limit waste at the site, be airtight and will ensure the protection of the battery cells during production.
With high-capacity border and transportation infrastructure, Tucson is an ideal fit for ABF’s vision and will provide the necessary access to ship battery cells to nearby markets. Plans for the gigafactory aim to enhance Pima County’s already growing economy and support Arizona’s business community by cultivating an environment that fosters innovation as well as attracting and retaining residents to the Tucson economy.
Project partners include Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Commerce Authority, Sun Corridor Inc., Pima County, City of Tucson, Pima Community College and Tucson Electric Power.
“With this announcement, American Battery Factory has elevated Arizona’s reputation as a national epicenter for battery manufacturing,” said Sandra Watson, president & CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “American Battery Factory’s new facility and headquarters will advance Southern Arizona’s vibrant technology ecosystem while creating hundreds of skilled jobs and drive further economic growth to our state.”
“Today’s decision by the Board is another significant return on investment made by the County and taxpayers 10 years ago when the Board took positive steps to acquire the Aerospace Research Campus,” Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson said. “American Battery Factory is exactly the type of high-wage employer we hoped to attract. I welcome them to Pima County and wish them many years of success.”
“The City of Tucson is a national leader on climate action. We are a hub for resiliency and innovation,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. “Tucson is a perfect city for American Battery Factory to partner with, and we look forward to working together to support the energy storage industry.”
“American Battery Factory joins prominent regional and corporate headquarters in Southern Arizona, such as Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Caterpillar and Hexagon’s Mining division, among others,” said Joe Snell, president & CEO, Sun Corridor Inc. “This marquee project catapults Tucson into the national spotlight, ensuring this region has a prominent place in the energy storage and EV manufacturing supply chain being developed right here. With key advancements from ABF, Tucson will be a cutting-edge leader ushering in new EV technology and improved energy storage efficiency.”
"With our Advanced Manufacturing Center opening next year, PCC's strategy and focus on Centers of Excellence was another key reason ABF chose Southern Arizona," said Lee Lambert, chancellor & CEO, Pima Community College. "We are strongly positioned to train the workforce ABF needs and partner with this new facility to fast-track next-generation battery innovations to full production capacity. We're looking forward to partnering with ABF on apprenticeship and internship programs for our students."
"Energy storage not only drives powerful environmental benefits for our region, but economic benefits as well. TEP was a close partner on this project every step of the way, providing critical infrastructure and competitive pricing," said Susan Gray, president & CEO, Tucson Electric Power. "ABF represents an ideal investment in our region, designed to meet unprecedented global demand for energy storage and battery cells required for renewable, independent, efficient and affordable energy solutions."
ABF has secured strategic partnerships to make this landmark development a reality, partnering with Celgard (along with their parent company Asahi Kasei) for innovation and key cell components and Anovion for synthetic graphite. ABF plans to work with Honeywell to provide automation, cybersecurity and optimization products and services.