AUBURN, Mass. - June 1, 2009 - Underscoring its commitment to bringing manufacturing jobs to the United States, Boston-Power, Inc., announced that the company is working to build one of the world’s most advanced battery manufacturing facilities in Auburn, Massachusetts.
Boston-Power is widely recognized for providing the longest-lasting, fastest-charging, most environmentally sustainable and safest lithium-ion battery technology platform available.
The announcement was celebrated at a ceremony featuring Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Congressman Jim McGovern, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, Boston-Power Founder & CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, a host of state and local officials, and members of the clean tech and business communities.
Extending the world-class mass manufacturing capabilities Boston-Power already operates in Greater China, the 455,000 square foot Auburn facility would add 600 new jobs at Boston-Power and as many as 2,000 more indirectly through the extended supply chain.
An award-winning provider of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells to market-leading companies, Boston-Power also provided a ‘first look’ at SwingTM, the company’s product for Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles (PHEV/BEV). The only eco-certified battery of its kind, Swing is poised to drive the adoption of PHEVs and BEVs by establishing new benchmarks in energy density, long life, safety, weight, cost and environmental sustainability. More details about Swing will be made available in the coming weeks.
“Our goal is to make Massachusetts a manufacturing hub for the advanced batteries that will power the nation’s clean energy future, and Boston-Power’s plan to create this facility in Auburn is a big step toward that goal,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “We look forward to working with the company and our colleagues in the Congressional delegation to make this happen.”
“Boston-Power’s batteries would join a long list of world-class goods that have been manufactured in Central Massachusetts,” said Congressman Jim McGovern. “I’ve met with Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud and her team on many occasions during the past few years. I was pleased to cut the ribbon when they expanded their headquarters and R&D labs in Westborough last fall. I’m excited to see the company make yet another long-term commitment to our area.”
“The race is on to capture the enormous economic and environmental benefits of clean energy, and Massachusetts is in the lead,” said Secretary Bowles. “Advanced battery technology has a key role to play, and I applaud Boston-Power’s commitment to making its products here in the Bay State.”
Enabling energy storage to continue to flourish in Massachusetts, state officials are working closely with Boston-Power to pursue state and federal financial incentives that will help the company to fulfill its plans of building the Auburn facility. With support from Massachusetts officials, Boston-Power is seeking approximately $100 million under the U.S. Department of Energy’s advanced battery and cell manufacturing grant program established as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The company is also pursuing funds through a proposed program allocation in the FY10 federal budget under the Defense Production Act, which encourages the building of manufacturing facilities in the United States that are important for national security reasons. Currently, nearly all lithium-ion batteries in the world are manufactured in Asia. The Commonwealth will offer up to $9 million in matching financing to support the company’s planned manufacturing operation in Auburn.
Boston-Power selected the Auburn site based on proximity to its headquarters. This affords synergies between the company’s R&D and manufacturing teams while minimizing shipping and related employee productivity and efficiency costs. Moreover, since it is based near Boston, the location provides ready access to internationally recognized colleges and universities, unparalleled innovation, a large and diversified workforce and an established business infrastructure.
“Under the insightful direction of Governor Patrick, Congressman McGovern, Secretary Bowles and many others, Massachusetts continues to strengthen its lead in fostering clean technology business that emphasizes a commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Boston-Power Founder and CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud. “Boston-Power is thankful for the tremendous interest we’ve received from other states. We carefully considered options to build this manufacturing facility in other locations around the country and the world. We chose Massachusetts as our headquarters location in 2005 and we look forward to establishing a high quality manufacturing facility here.”
Among the world’s most closely watched portable power companies, Boston-Power in March established itself as the first U.S.-based firm ever to provide battery technology to a Tier One notebook PC vendor. The result of a three-year relationship with HP that involved the industry’s most extensive testing and audit processes, Boston-Power’s Sonata battery cells serve as the foundation for a new ‘green’ battery HP has branded the Enviro Series of Notebook Batteries. This represents the first time HP, the number one global provider of notebook PCs, has established a brand around battery technology. The Enviro Series is compatible with more than 70 percent of HP’s consumer models.
Boston-Power’s strategy from the outset has been to take a ‘whole-system’ approach to developing and commercializing its uniquely differentiated, patent-pending technology. This strategy gives multiple markets the benefit of Boston-Power’s core technology, enabling companies in these markets to tune the technology to meet specific application requirements. The fact that Boston-Power is in mass production with Sonata, already manufacturing millions of cells, expedites the availability of Swing - while capitalizing on the same state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment as well as best-in-class shop floor and quality control systems, integrated supply chain, Six Sigma methods and other key processes.
In addition to applicable U.S. certifications, Boston-Power’s products are the first and only rechargeable lithium-ion battery cells to earn the Nordic Ecolabel, the world’s most rigorous environmental sustainability certifying process. The company’s lithium-ion cells have also been awarded a similar world’s-first designation from the China Environmental United Certification Center.