By Kelly Jezierski, Program Manager, NextEnergy

In the fall of 2012, NextEnergy wrapped up phase one of an extensive study on the lithium ion battery cell supply chain, which was focused on select components used in battery cell manufacturing. Supported by the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the analysis identified significant gaps and opportunities for domestic materials and components manufacturers.

NextEnergy is seeking to identify existing and/or potential advanced energy storage systems suppliers to help Tier 1 and Tier 2 firms localize and vertically integrate their supply chain. To help us better understand your interest and/or current involvement in the battery industry, please take our brief survey.

We project that by 2015, the annual demand for electrolyte shipping containers will be approximately 167,000. Forty percent of these stainless steel containers’ cost is from the fittings; the balance for the containers. We want to hear more from local suppliers interested in learning how to transition similar production processes from a familiar market to this new growth industry. Can manufacturing companies with the appropriate competencies provide these e-polished containers or, at least, the fittings, to electrolyte companies? This single component of the lithium ion battery supply chain could have a potential impact of $500 million on the domestic economy. The next highest opportunity identified was in terms of anode materials, valued at nearly $350 million, followed by active cathode materials at approximately $250 million.

The study also uncovered that many of the experienced incumbent suppliers of materials, components and equipment are overseas firms – and most of those suppliers have yet to make a commitment to domestic production. The expectation of battery demand growth for vehicles and grid storage applications alone is likely to stimulate investments to shorten supply chains for U.S. battery manufacturers.

By filling out the survey, you will help us understand Michigan’s advanced battery assets and develop educational and matchmaking opportunities that will connect suppliers with potential collaborators and end customers. NextEnergy will utilize this information to introduce Michigan-based firms to battery procurement or research and development (R&D) staff. Ultimately, we hope to strengthen the local economy by positioning Michigan suppliers and R&D professionals as a go-to resource for the advanced battery industry.

For more information about NextEnergy’s advanced energy storage work, please contact Kelly Jezierski or Dan Radomski.