XALT Energy, a leading developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, today announced it has signed a global exclusive agreement with Hybrid Kinetic Group of China for the supply of its lithium titanate batteries from its manufacturing facilities in Midland for all-electric buses in China.
Production is expected to begin during the third quarter of 2015. The multi-year contract, valued at more than $1 billion, will create 300 new high-tech and manufacturing jobs in Midland this year. Hiring is underway with 80 positions expected to be filled in April.
“XALT’s high quality and cost competitive battery products fit very well with our group’s strategy of launching all-electric public transit buses in large scale with our unique business model,” said Dr. Yung Yeung, chairman of HK Group. “This supply relationship is a fine example of Sino-American energy cooperation.”
Dennis Townsend, chairman of XALT, said, “It has always been our objective to enable electrification of global transportation markets since we ventured into the battery industry several years ago. Today’s signing of the exclusive supply agreement with the HK Group witnesses a significant step forward towards that goal.”
Faced with dire environmental pollution, especially smog, China is taking many steps to re-evaluate traditional transportation models supported by fossil fuels, XALT stated. It said these steps are anticipated to create significant long-term demand for both electric buses in the country’s large and medium sized cities, as well as the batteries that power those buses.
The electric buses will be fully powered by XALT batteries. Each bus will have 68-100 KWh high performance rapid charging batteries, which can be recharged in less than 10 minutes. These electric buses will be leased to municipal transit operators throughout China.
“The XALT team is pleased to partner with HK Group on this project,” XALT CEO Subhash Dhar said. “Today’s announcement demonstrates a clear commitment to modernizing global transportation needs through environmentally clean technologies. One of our core values is the care for the environment. These new, technologically advanced electric buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, compared to current diesel powered buses, while ensuring the highest level of efficiency, performance and reliability.”
XALT has received support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Michigan — including the Legislature, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality — as well as the city of Midland. XALT said it will continue to work with these agencies on various programs as it moves forward to bring high-quality jobs to Michigan.
To date, XALT has invested more than $600 million in its fully-automated flexible Lithium chemistry-based manufacturing facility in Midland. The company currently employs 130 people.