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AUTHOR:Robert Walton@TeamWetDog
PUBLISHED Aug. 25, 2017

Dive Insight:

California-based Romeo Power, a startup energy storage manufacturer expected to begin shipping products next year, has secured $30 million in seed financing.
Founded by engineers and designers from SpaceX, Tesla, Apple, Amazon and Samsung, the company will develop lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicle and stationary storage applications.
The company began sales this year and has logged $65 million in initial orders for 2018. It is developing a manufacturing facility near downtown Los Angeles.

Despite hiring engineers that previously worked at Tesla, officials at Romeo Power told Forbes the company does not see Elon Musk’s company has a direct competitor.

According to founder Michael Patterson, the difference is in the application. While Tesla’s battery cells will be used in its own vehicles and energy storage products, “we’re just making the pack, and making it for more people and for more applications,” he told the financial magazine.

The company expects its modular battery packs to be used in cars, power sport vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and forklifts. Romeo revealed that current contracts and design agreements for the company span U.S. and European automakers, manufacturers of motorcycles and forklifts, and include companies like Power Designers and Robotic Assistance Devices.

“We’ve seen incredible momentum in a short period, and we’re scaling manufacturing as fast as we can to meet demand,” Patterson said in a statement. “There’s a massive market opportunity for energy storage technologies.

Tesla kicked off operations at its first development site in Nevada earlier this year at the much-heralded Gigafactory. The company expects to produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells by 2018.

Romeo says its own 13,000 square-foot manufacturing facility is on track to be complete by the end of the year. Its battery packs range in size from 1 kWh to 1 MWh.