EnerG2 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for new battery materials plant in Albany, Oregon. Photo courtesy of the Vehicle Technologies Program
Recently, I visited Albany, Oregon, to celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony at the newest facility for the advanced materials company, EnerG2. The new facility will produce advanced carbon materials for electric drive vehicles batteries and ultracapacitors that can rapidly store and discharge energy.
EnergG2 launched about ten years ago in Seattle, Washington. As the company has grown, so has their staff. EnerG2’s production facility employed about 50 skilled workers to modify the original building and install the needed production equipment. They estimate they’ll have 35 permanent technical jobs in place once the plant is at full production.
EnerG2 won a $21.3 million Energy Department grant under the Recovery Act and contributed an additional $7.4 million in cost share to build the world's first facility dedicated to producing synthetic high-performance carbon material with their unique process on a commercial scale. EnerG2 has developed an innovative manufacturing process that takes the pure, raw materials for the engineered carbon, then freezes and dries them before putting them in a specialized kiln. After further processing, the material is ready to be used in electrodes for ultracapacitors or advanced batteries used in energy storage.
Through the Recovery Act, the Department has invested $2.4 billion dollars to help the U.S. compete in the electric drive vehicle and component manufacturing industry.
Just a few years ago, the United States produced less than two percent of the world’s advanced batteries. By 2015, the United States will have the capacity to produce enough batteries and components to support 1 million plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
EnerG2’s capabilities and expertise in activated carbon manufacturing is an example of a U.S. company that can become a major player in the battery industry, competing successfully in the global battery marketplace. The company is expected to produce enough material to support 60,000 electric drive vehicles per year for American families across the country. Already, the company has firm orders and expressions of interest from multiple customers. Products will be available for shipment next month.