When you think of lithium-ion batteries, the first thing that comes to mind may be electric vehicles. But many people don’t realize how many daily items, including cell phones and electronics, are also powered by lithium-ion technology.
And that’s where Henderson company Lithion Battery comes in.
“We think of Lithion as the electrification of everything else,” says Tyler Armstrong, President & CEO of Lithion Battery. “We don’t do passenger vehicles, but we build batteries for everything else.”
Lithion operates a battery manufacturing facility in Henderson, where they produce batteries, battery packs, and energy storage systems for residential, commercial, and industrial clients.
The company is currently building out a second factory, which will produce cylindrical cells that will be used in their battery packs. The factory will be the first of its kind outside of China and will be operational by the end of the year.
“Our cell manufacturing facility here is a relatively small one,” says Jim Hodge, Vice President of Power Sources at Lithion. “We’re able to turn out a max of about 80MW per hour in fuel cells. But we’re looking at a larger facility for about 4.5GW hours, which would produce batteries for the large and medium sized energy storage systems.”
The company produces batteries for robots, medical devices, and military uses. It also has many clients who are electrifying everything from delivery and construction to garbage trucks.
“We’re heavily involved in taking out diesel and gas engines and replacing those with batteries, whether it’s in a refrigerated truck or a tow truck,” says Armstrong.
The company also produces many energy storage systems for homes and workplaces.
“Consumers are starting to care about where their energy comes from,” says Armstrong. “It’s partly about sustainability, but it’s also about the volatility of the grid and rising power prices. No one wants to be without power for four or five hours, so we are really just trying to let people know that energy storage allows you to take care of yourself.”
The company currently employs around 100 people, but they expect that number to swell to 500 within the next several years. Jobs they’re hiring for include chemical and mechanical engineers and data scientists.
“Data collection and management is a huge part of what we do,” says Hodge. “We’re also seeing a need for people with expertise in pneumatics. You don’t necessarily need a four-year or even a two-year degree to have these skill sets. These are skills that even a high school graduate can pick up and become an expert in.”
A recent UNLV report forecasted the global lithium-ion battery market will increase fivefold by 2030, to $115 billion a year. The report also noted that Nevada is uniquely positioned to tap into that industry.
“Nevada has essentially all the elements to grow the lithium industry,” says Perry Ursem, Vice President of Business Retention & Expansion at the LVGEA. “That includes mining, research and development, production and assembly, as well as recycling. With Lithion here in Southern Nevada, the company is adding to the region’s diversification into the lithium-ion battery market.”
Lithion executives say they’re just excited to bring lithium-ion battery manufacturing to Southern Nevada.
“What excites me the most about the company is the industry itself and the massive growth in the lithium-ion battery market,” says Armstrong. “Every day, we see more companies looking to electrify their fleets. Companies are basically looking at electrifying anything that’s powered by an internal combustion engine. That means the possibilities are endless for the lithium-ion industry in Nevada, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”