EV battery maker Italvolt's CEO to launch company for building gigafactory

April 19 (Reuters) - Electric vehicle battery maker Italvolt's founder said on Tuesday he would launch a company to build a battery-manufacturing gigafactory in California that could serve about 650,000 EVs a year with an expected outlay of $4 billion.

The United States is among many countries encouraging indigenous production of batteries and its materials in a bid to simplify supply chains for the booming EV industry.

The new company, Statevolt, which will build a 54 gigawatt hours (GWh)factory in southern California's Imperial Valley, also signed a letter of intent with renewable energy and lithium extraction company Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to purchase the mineral and geothermal power.

The company's hyper-local business model will offer Statevolt "a significant advantage in producing lithium-ion batteries at scale", Lars Carlstrom, Italvolt's founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

Prices of lithium have soared over the past year as demand for the EV battery material rise, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

CTR extracts lithium from brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy, from its Hell's Kitchen lithium and power project in California.

Statevolt is undertaking due diligence to determine the best location for the factory.

Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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