American Lithium Energy Corporation (“ALE”), a leading developer of sustainable energy solutions, specializing in the production of lithium batteries, announced that it has been awarded two grants totaling $13.2 million from the California Energy Commission. ALE will receive $10.2 million in funding from the Zero-Emissions Transportation Manufacturing program and an expected $3 million from the California Energy Commission Realizing Accelerated Manufacturing and Production (RAMP) in April 2023. ALE will use this funding to expand its U.S.-based manufacturing production capabilities in Carlsbad, California, significantly grow its team in California, and increase use of U.S. and California-based raw materials and equipment supplies, in order to further its mission of developing sustainable energy solutions that promote the widespread adoption of zero-emissions transportation.
ALE has been developing and manufacturing high-performance lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries since 2006, including its proprietary nano Si 18650 cell. The cell was originally developed under funding from the U.S. Army to address the limited discharge power and narrow range of operational temperatures for COTS 18650 cells. Through funding from the U.S. Air Force, the high power 18650 cell capacity improved to 4 Ah – the world’s highest capacity – and added the capability to discharge across a wide temperature range, even as low as -40 C. This new funding will allow ALE to scale production of Si 18650 cells, and fully automate its manufacturing process via a low-rate initial production (LRIP) pilot line.
“Northrop Grumman has collaborated with ALE on the development of advanced Li-ion battery cells for use on prototype aircraft, which have high-specific power and energy requirements,” said Jeff Knowles, electrical engineer, Northrop Grumman. “ALE’s industry-leading battery cell technology affords both expanded voltage range and useable capacity, as well as pulsed power capability that are enabling features for advanced aircraft.”
“As oil shaped the last century, lithium will help shape the next,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC). “And as leaders in technology, science, and manufacturing, our bi-national mega-region is uniquely positioned to lead in the clean energy future. To support more innovation, jobs, and companies like ALE, we will need the talent, infrastructure, and backing of our policymakers to do this right.”
The California Energy Commission RAMP and Zero-Emissions Transportation Manufacturing programs are designed to support the growth of lithium battery production and zero-emissions transportation manufacturing throughout California. ALE is also actively engaging in discussions with investors that invest both equity and debt into energy storage solutions in order to accelerate its mission.
“We are grateful to the California Energy Commission for these significant and generous grants, which will enable us to increase our production capabilities in the U.S. and continue to drive innovation and adoption across the lithium battery industry,” said Dr. John Fan, CEO, ALE. “Customer feedback and demand for ALE’s proprietary Si 18650 cells has been strong and is growing rapidly and we believe we are best positioned to usher in a new era of safety and performance across our key markets, including government and defense.”