Fremont Leads Nationwide Push in Battery Manufacturing
Last month, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes around $370 billion in clean energy and climate investments over the next 10 years, was enacted into law. This is a huge step forward for cleantech and climate legislation nationwide and will propel the cleantech companies in Fremont to continue to innovate, grow, introduce more jobs to our local economy, and more.
We saw this as an opportunity to continue our momentum of positioning our City as a leader in the clean energy race. More specifically, we are already making our mark as the nation’s epicenter of battery manufacturing. Case in point: Silicon Valley Business Journal recently mentioned Fremont’s impact in an article covering Bay Area battery companies.
“It’s clear from the funding tallies that the Bay Area has become a hub of battery innovation. That’s no accident, industry experts say. You don’t have to look any further than Fremont to understand a big part of the reason why. The success of electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc., which has a massive factory there, was largely dependent on battery development.”
In fact, Tesla is already operating several new and innovative battery production lines in Fremont, which acted as a catalyst for other cleantech companies, many of which involved battery manufacturing, to move to Fremont to be in their wake. Tesla itself continues to invest in its battery manufacturing lines locally. InsideEVs recently reported that Tesla has submitted a permit requesting the ability to set up a new EV battery manufacturing line at its original factory in Fremont.
Beyond the “Tesla factor,” it doesn’t hurt that our City also has supportive zoning policies, a robust supply chain network, an incredibly skilled labor pool that allows for the fast growth of R&D teams, and a unique building typography within Silicon Valley that ultimately supports this kind of manufacturing as well.
Earlier this year, EnerVenue and Our Next Energy both announced lease agreements to begin developing and manufacturing battery technology in Fremont. These announcements received attention from the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Business Journals, emphasizing the incredibly talented labor pool and cluster of established and up-and-coming companies in Fremont that are advancing battery technology.
But they are just two of the many battery manufacturers that are contributing to Fremont’s robust battery manufacturing ecosystem. We’re working with a lot of companies that are at the forefront of American-led innovation in the cleantech space.
- Fremont-based Enovix, who went public via the SPAC merger last year, announced in August 2022 the first customer shipments from its silicon-anode lithium-ion battery production facility in Fremont, called Fab 1. The company develops 3D cell technology and production processes for electric vehicles and energy storage markets to enable the widespread utilization of renewable energy.
- Earlier this year, Gotion (headquartered in Fremont) announced plans to supply power cell products to Geely New Energy Commercial Vehicle Group (GCV) from 2022 to 2024, with an estimated total of 126,000 units.
- Lithium-ion battery manufacturer Amprius moved its headquarters to Fremont to be close to Tesla. In Q1, the company, which recently announced a planned $939 million SPAC merger for the second half of this year, delivered its first batch of commercially available lithium-ion cells for use in electric vehicles, aircraft, and more, improving energy density for high power applications and featuring a longer lifecycle than regular Li-ion batteries.
Reporter Skip Descant, Government Technology, recently featured Fremont in an article, perfectly captured the opportunistic moment we are in:
“With the rise in electric vehicle adoption, and federal incentives structured to advance domestic battery production, cities like Fremont — which have established themselves as a nucleus for not only the development of the tech behind the batteries, but the batteries themselves — will only grow in importance.”
The battery buzz is here and now, and we as a City are happy to serve as the “Energizer Bunny” beating the drum for this new, innovative, and clean industry. This month’s record-setting heat wave has shown us the need to accelerate the scaling and market deployment of these critical next-generation energy technologies. Here in Fremont, we’re excited to play an outsized role in bringing that vision to reality, all the while creating quality jobs across the educational spectrum and enhancing our region’s prosperity.