Montana-based nickel-zinc battery start-up ZAF Energy Systems Inc., is opening a second facility, in Missouri, to “dramatically expand” existing production capacity.
ZAF said on 5 October the new Joplin plant aimed to meet growing customer demand which will “accelerate licensing and joint venture negotiations” to commercialise its NiZn batteries internationally.
President and CEO of ZAF Randy Moore, who took up the post earlier this year, said: “We just weren’t able to keep up with the demand with the capacity we had in Montana.”
Joplin will help to “drastically scale up production to several thousand batteries per month”, Moore said. “The end result will be a turnkey engineering package we can deliver to manufacturers with customer demand already built into the equation.”
Montana will continue to serve as ZAF’s research and development hub, the company said. ZAF will start staffing the new facility by transferring five current employees from Montana and then hiring 20 new employees to work alongside them by the end of 2017. The new facility’s workforce is eventually expected to number more than 100.
ZAF said its NiZn batteries have potential uses in a wide range of applications including automotive, heavy trucking, remote telecoms, renewable energy and marine.
The company said following a series of third-party tests by firms in the trucking, manufacturing and road construction sectors, ZAF want to “seed the market” and drive demand for its battery “as a replacement for lead-acid in key market segments”.