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It’ll Be A Long Road For Electrovaya To Make Its Green Dreams A Reality

It’s been interesting to watch the fits and starts of the coming “green” economy through Cummins Inc.

The Indiana-based engine manufacturer with a plant located in Busti has been working for years on the transition from fossil fuel-powered engines to new engines powered by electric and hydrogen. It’s been a massive undertaking spurred by a commitment to research and development and by acquiring struggling smaller companies that can benefit from Cummins’ deeper pockets.

Now, we get to see the green transition through the eyes of a smaller company. Electrovaya, a developer and manufacturer of portable lithium-ion batteries, is expected to be the new tenant of the former Acu-Rite building at 1 Precision Way, Ellicott and was recently announced as a recipient of a low-cost hydropower allotment from the Niagara Power Project.

Electrovaya is expected to create 50 direct manufacturing jobs in Jamestown in its first year and has the potential, according to company officials, to expand to more than 300 jobs. But that only happens if its lithium-ion battery, billed as the forever battery, catches on.

And therein lies the rub.

The city, county and state are taking a gamble on a fledgling company with big dreams and relatively little cash. As we learned from Athenex and ImmunityBio, it’s a long road from glowing press releases and news conferences and operating a successful company.

Electrovaya is working to increase its financial viability, with revenue expected to double in 2022 to between $21 and $25 million, according to second quarter financial results. The company has also received a needed credit increase.

We’ve seen many companies come to Chautauqua County with a few dollars and a dream. But it takes luck too — and only time will tell if Electrovaya has luck on its side.

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