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Past Fortnightly

Reshoring the Battery Materials Supply Chain with Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

October 25, 2022
Reshoring the Battery Materials Supply Chain with Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

Controlling the battery supply chain is quickly becoming a matter of high geopolitical importance as countries scramble to ensure they can meet future demand. For years, the US Department of Energy has been sounding the alarm about the need to reshore battery manufacturing — and to remove the dependency on cobalt in particular.

Enter Sanjiv Malhotra, a successful energy entrepreneur that joined the US Department of Energy as the inaugural director of the Energy Investor Center after the successful exit of his company Oorja Protonics in 2014. After surveying the global energy technology landscape from this position at DOE, Sanjiv became convinced that reshoring the battery supply chain was a generational opportunity: he left the DOE in 2019 to found Sparkz, Inc., where he now serves as CEO.

Sparkz is moving quickly: already, they are setting up gigafactories in West Virginia and California of a cobalt-free lithium battery design using technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Sparkz is even partnering with United Mine Workers to recruit, train, and hire displaced coal miners at their West Virginia facility.

So: what are the pressing challenges that must be overcome for the US to control its battery manufacturing destiny? Find out in Aionics Fortnightly Episode 30 with Sanjiv Malhotra. And, as always, bring your questions!

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    Guest bio

    Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

    Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

    CEO of Sparkz

    Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra is the founder and CEO of Sparkz—the battery start-up re-engineering the energy supply chain. Before Sparkz, Dr. Malhotra served as the inaugural director for the Energy Investor Center at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations, and served as Founder/CEO at Oorja Protonics. As an investor and consultant, Dr. Malhotra has worked at leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers as an advisor on clean energy and advanced materials. Earlier in his career, Dr. Malhotra led the engineering and product development team at H Power, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cells. As part of the management team, he managed the successful IPO, which raised more than $100 million in August 2000 as well as the sale of H Power to Plug Power.

    Co-hosts - Meet our field experts.

    • Dr Austin Sendek

      Dr Austin Sendek

      Founder & CEO Aionics