North America’s first and only lithium ion battery manufacturing center is just days away from opening in the Southern Tier.
iM3NY has spent the last 10 years bringing cell manufacturing to Endicott. The 100,000-square-foot facility sits at the former location and birthplace of IBM, a corporation that once employed tens of thousands in the village of Endicott and beyond.
“It’s super exciting for us, the whole team,” iM3NY founder Shailesh Upreti said. “We, as you know, have been working on this for the last 10 years, but the last four years primarily focused around the manufacturing scale up. You can see how big the infrastructure is.”
iM3NY, a company founded by Upreti, is just days away from producing and manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells. Up until now, batteries were exclusively produced overseas, increasing the cost of products and causing delays in shipments.
This location will soon produce 50 cells every five minutes.
“This the area where we have all the machinery where we’ll be coating it, we’ll be drying it and then we’ll be compressing it to the density that we need,” said Upreti.
An investment into the village this big hasn’t been seen in decades. Retrofitting this building alone cost upwards of $10 million, and that’s without the equipment. Now, hundreds of jobs could be on the way.
“We are an excess of 55 people right now,” Upreti said. “We started with zero last year, so we’re aggressively hiring and I think there’s a lot of need for skill sets we can utilize and make this factory a sustainable business.”
The building and equipment is powered by 95% clean energy. Upreti and his staff are hoping this is just the start of a resurgence in jobs upstate.
“Isn’t it amazing, because this is the birthplace of IBM,” iM3NY CFO Mayank Sharma said. “IBM used to be the biggest employer in the region. They left the area and we are bringing back clean energy, high tech manufacturing jobs to the campus.”
iM3NY is expected to begin manufacturing in August.