EnerDel Inc., which is focusing on developing lithium-ion batteries for heavy-duty uses, has opened an advanced engineering center in Irvine, underscoring Orange County’s key role in developing electric vehicles and power sources.
The office, the company’s second, is at the Cavu office park along MacArthur Boulevard, across the street from John Wayne Airport. It opened at the end of June and currently has a handful of employees, with plans to expand to around 20 to 25 engineers by the end of the year.
“In this office, we’ll be doing development of next-gen battery packs—brand name iEGO—from a battery systems perspective, hardware perspective and battery management software perspective,” Chief Strategy Officer Kev Adjemian told the Business Journal.
The uses include transportation with heavy- duty buses and trucks, industrial equipment, trolleybuses, trams, construction, agricultural machines, and military and civilian fixed and mobile hybrid power systems.
Adjemian says the company, with headquarters in Indiana, will focus on high-growth areas like construction, mining, marine uses, forklifts and commercial vehicles.
“When we get to certain level of maturity, we will then pass that to our team in Indiana and manufacturing will remain in Indiana,” Adjemian said of the Irvine office’s planned developments.
EnerDel, founded in 2004, is a designer and manufacturer of lithium-ion energy storage solutions and battery systems.
EnerDel and its holding company were recently purchased by Tennessee-based investor Paul Herbert from an entity controlled by Russian billionaire Boris Zingarevich.
“We were technically a Russian-owned company,” Adjemian said.
Adjemian said EnerDel received pressure from its customers and suppliers for a change in ownership following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the controversy surrounding Russian oligarchs’ links to President Vladimir Putin.
Herbert’s acquisition of the company enabled EnerDel to invest in the new technology center in Irvine.
Adjemian said the company is “self-sustaining” and is planning a fundraising round in the current quarter.
“The intention is to eventually go public, probably in 2025,” he said.
EnerDel’s Irvine advanced engineering center is the latest addition to the local OC hub helping to revolutionize battery uses for transportation and other uses.
That hub includes Irvine-based battery developer Enevate, which aims to charge electric vehicles as fast as gasoline powered cars, and Romeo Power Inc., a battery maker for commercial electric vehicles valued at more than $650 million, which moved more than 250 employees and its headquarters from Los Angeles to Cypress.
Romeo Power (NYSE: RMO) last autumn said it signed a deal to lease 215,000 square feet of industrial and office space along Katella Avenue to support the company’s expansion of battery development and testing capabilities next to its production line.
Rivian Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq: RIVN), based in Irvine, expects to be building 1 million EVs a year by 2030, Reuters earlier this month quoted CEO RJ Scaringe as saying.
Qmerit in Irvine has stepped up its efforts to have electric vehicle charging stations installed at commercial properties and homes, joining the national effort to keep the growing EV fleets moving smoothly.