Lithium ion batteries are more widely used than ever before. To illustrate this fact, consider the recent rise in production by Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), the automotive company behind a line of luxury electric cars, electric vehicle powertrain components and other battery products. Following the launch of its $5 billion Gigafactory focused on improving traditional lithium ion batteries, Tesla expects to have the ability to produce more lithium ion batteries each year than were manufactured worldwide in 2013, according to a report from Fox Business.
This sharp increase in production capacity will likely be met with an equally strong rise in demand. Leading global research firm Research and Markets forecasts the industry sustaining a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent in the seven year period ending 2019, leading to a global market value in excess of $33.1 billion. While major industry players such as Tesla are making advances toward bringing the benefits of this growth back to the United States, a large majority of currently-available lithium ion batteries and related products are imported from factories in China and Southeast Asia.
The dangers of substandard lithium ion batteries are well documented. Despite the fact that roughly 30 percent of the 5.5 billion cell phone batteries produced each year are shipped by air, according to a report by the Insurance Journal, an increasing number of passenger and freight airlines – including both United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) and Delta (NYSE: DAL) – have taken steps to ban bulk shipments of lithium ion batteries following reports that these storage solutions contributed to fires that destroyed two Boeing (NYSE: BA) 787 cargo planes in 2014. While the exact cause of these fires has yet to be identified, the National Transportation Safety Board openly criticized Boeing and its battery manufacturer for the faults.
In a 2013 article (http://dtn.fm/mR9i1) published by Forbes, contributor Steve Denning summarized one potential issue observed in the manufacturing process of the Boeing 787.
“Some degree of outsourcing in other countries—i.e. offshoring—is an inevitable aspect of manufacturing a complex product like an airplane, because some expertise exists only in foreign countries. For example, the capacity to manufacture Lithium-ion batteries lies outside the U.S.,” Denning stated in the article. “While there is nothing in principle wrong with necessary offshoring, the cultural and language differences and the physical distances involved in a lengthy supply chain create additional risks. Mitigating them requires substantial and continuing communications with the suppliers and on-site involvement, thereby generating additional cost.”
This practice of offshoring lithium ion battery manufacturing has led to additional quality and safety concerns in recent months. During the final months of 2015, hoverboards were established as the go-to gift for the holiday season. However, improperly manufactured lithium ion batteries and substandard quality control transformed this futuristic gift into a nightmare for dozens of families around the globe (http://dtn.fm/RLEf0).
Oakridge Global Energy Solutions, Inc. (OTCQB: OGES) is taking a proactive approach to combatting the dangers of some internationally-produced stored energy products by commercializing a full line of ‘Made in the USA’ lithium ion battery solutions. The company’s products – including its Pro Series, Patriot Series, Freedom Series and Liberty Series – are designed, manufactured and tested to strict standards directly from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Brevard Country, Florida. In the coming months, Oakridge expects to install more than 2.6 gigawatt-hours of production capacity for U.S.-manufactured electrodes, cells and batteries, creating an affordable, competitive product that gives families and businesses an opportunity to support the local economy.
With an experienced management team in place and a detailed company roadmap outlining plans to increase its presence in the rapidly expanding lithium ion battery market, Oakridge is well-positioned to usher in a new era in battery manufacturing as a leader in the ongoing ‘on-shoring’ movement. Look for the company to continue expanding upon its product line in the coming months in an effort to promote strong, sustainable returns for shareholders.
For more information, visit www.oakridgeglobalenergy.com