7

Gigawatt-Hours

Romeo Power’s 113,000 sq. ft production facility has a 7 GWh production capacity

555

Million Dollars

As of end of 2020, Romeo Power had ~$555 million in backlog

10

Kilowatt-Hours

Romeo Power’s product, the Prasini Module, has a 10 KWh capacity, 215Wh/kg energy density, and a 2-hour charging time


The Path to Drawdown: Batteries

The first electric vehicle (EV) was built in the early 19th century, but internal combustion engines dominated the automotive landscape since the 1920s because of EVs’ inability to overcome the challenge of building a lightweight, durable battery with adequate range.

Today, that landscape is changing. Owing to supportive government policies and declining costs, there are millions of EVs on the road. The difference in their carbon footprint is remarkable: compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, emissions drop by 50% if an EV’s power comes from the conventional electrical grid. If powered by solar energy, emissions drop by 95%. And once households purchase EVs, costs to operate and maintain those cars are often cheaper than gas-based cars.

What used to be an obstacle for EVs - the question of how far the car can go on a single charge - is now much less of a concern. The average range of EVs produced in 2020 is about 217.5 miles, up from 124 miles in 2015.

What’s making this increase in mileage possible are the advances in battery technology and growth in battery production capacity. The cost of batteries is falling fast as a result. The cost of lithium-ion batteries in particular -- the key technology for electrifying transport -- has declined sharply in recent years.

But battery production needs to continue scaling massively to keep up with the electrification of the transport sector. According to the IEA:

  • Global manufacturing operations produced 170 GWh of batteries in 2020
  • ~3,000 GWh battery production capacity is needed by 2030 to achieve long-term sustainability goals
  • That’s CAGR of 33.25%

About

Romeo Power, Inc. (stock ticker: RMO) is an energy storage technology company focused on designing and manufacturing lithium-ion battery modules and packs for commercial electric vehicles. They have their headquarters in Vernon, California, and manufacturing facility in Los Angeles. They serve the North American and European markets.

RMO's Role in Drawdown

Founded in 2016 by a team of former leaders at Tesla, SpaceX, Amazon, Apple, Bosch and Samsung, Romeo Power engineers high-density battery technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicle fleets.

Their batteries (p. 6) have the highest energy density, longest range and fastest charging time in the industry. Their modular battery design enables high scalability across a wide range of end-market requirements. Because of their adaptable battery pack architecture, Romeo Power can provide customers with drop-in solutions for vehicles across multiple platforms and this design also facilitates faster time to market for customers with large-scale fleets.

On top of this, Romeo Power is thinking about how to reuse and recycle batteries. To this end, they have collaborated with Heritage Environmental Services, Inc. (p. 4) to focus on sustainability and reuse applications of their batteries.

RMO: What We Like

We’ll update this section when Romeo Power makes their sustainability information available.

RMO: What We Want to See Improve

Disclose GHG Emissions


Currently Romeo Power offers no sustainability information or metrics. We want to see this change. In particular, we press Romeo Power’s executives to start tracking and disclosing their direct and indirect GHG emissions, as well as their energy-use by source.

Set Clear Targets


Romeo Power correctly points out (p. 5-6) that the world’s largest logistics and original equipment manufacturers are committing to electric fleets and reducing emissions. We urge Romeo Power to join this list of companies by setting forth targets for emissions cuts and switching to renewable sources of power. These targets should be clear and quantitative, science-based to be in line with the international goal of staying below 1.5°C of global warming, and set to be achieved by the end of this decade. And these targets should be announced in an annual sustainability report.

Enhance Transparency Around Suppliers


Romeo Powers explains that they use key components of their battery products from suppliers across the world (p. 20), namely Samsung, LG Energy Solution, and BAK. We appreciate this clarity, but would like them to go further by disclosing the GHG emissions throughout the lifecycle of their products. This includes emissions from raw material production (of lithium, nickel, cobalt, and other metals) to manufacturing, to distribution.

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