Leading Battery Maker Sparkz Could Create Hundreds of Jobs in North Central West Virginia

Morganville, W.Va (WDTV) – A next-generation battery maker is expanding into West Virginia.

Sparkz is about to build what it calls a “giga-factory,” where it will produce cobalt-free batteries.

5 News spoke exclusively with Sparkz CEO Sanjiv Malhotra who told us the facility will bring hundreds of jobs.

“A gigawatt-hour generation capacity for batteries requires about 350 to 400 jobs,” Malhotra says, “If we’re looking at many, I think we’re looking at creating a lot of jobs in West Virginia.”

Many of these jobs go to people who lost their jobs as miners, as Sparkz partners with United Mine Workers of America.

It’s the skills these people have developed in the coal mines that Malhotra says makes them well suited to battery production.

“Manufacturing batteries requires a lot of safety training. Miners are perhaps the only industry that comes close to the type of safety training we would provide,” Malhotra says.

It’s been well documented that Sparkz is coming to West Virginia, with Malhotra announcing the move to Charleston earlier this year.

The big question is: where exactly? Morgantown has been rumored to be a possible landing spot. 5 News directly asked if the city was in the running.

“Look, I think we’re considering the whole state, so stay tuned. This process takes time because this process not only involves us, but it involves people from the state,” Malhotra said.

Although he doesn’t reveal the location, Malhotra says Morgantown is an attractive option.

“I’ve been to Morgantown, I think, twice now,” Malhotra said, “I really like the town, that’s all I can say. I love Morgantown, but there are many other aspects of manufacturing that we have to consider.

With the hiring process already underway, a location should be announced soon.

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