6K Energy, the sibling company of 6K Additive, has been awarded $50 million from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains. The funds will go towards the construction costs of 6K Energy’s PlusCAM battery material production plant, in Jackson, Tennessee.
6K Energy claims that its UniMelt technology produces both nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) and lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) at cheaper costs than what is typical from China-based suppliers. The NMC and LFP the company will supply are used to make cathodes in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The dominance of the EV battery market by China — it’s responsible for well over half of EV battery production and outpaces US production almost fourfold — has been one of the most critical factors driving the Biden administration’s focus on reshoring of US manufacturing. The funds awarded to 6K here, for instance, were made possible via the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The news comes about a week after DoD awarded 6K Additive $23.4 million to use UniMelt to upcycle scrap into metal additive manufacturing (AM) powders. 6K Additive plans to use those funds to bring its Pennsylvania operations up to full capacity by the end of 2026, two years after 6K Energy’s Tennessee facility is expected to reach full production.
6K Energy is one of 11 investments that Stellantis Ventures, the venture capital arm of the EV manufacturer, announced in June 2023. The other investments are in companies involved in applications ranging from AI software platforms for vehicle analytics, to production of 3D graphene.
6K, then, is embedded into a diverse portfolio of Industry4.0 technologies. Considering that all of those technologies both depend on and contribute to the output of goods produced via advanced manufacturing techniques, it is reasonable to expect that 6K Energy and 6K Additive will attempt to cross-leverage the different markets they’re exposed to as much as possible.
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