Sparkz awarded $12.9M to boost US production of Lithium battery cathode material manufacturing 

LIVERMORE, Calif. — SPARKZ, the next-generation lithium battery component company re-engineering the supply chain, has been awarded $12.9 million through the Qualified Clean Energy Project Credit under Section 48c(e). The funds will be used to set up and advance US production of cathode active material or CAM–the most essential component for Lithium-ion batteries being used in electric vehicles, stationary storage, and other e-industries.

The Section 48C tax credit allocation was issued by the IRS and Treasury following a highly competitive process administered by the US Department of Energy that assessed the technical, commercial, community benefits and environmental impacts of the projects. The notice officially from the Internal Revenue Service comes after the Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a detailed review on the above impacts and recommended the approval of SPARKZ’s application.

“Boosting America’s clean energy future is dependent upon securing a consistent, domestic supply chain for every component that powers a battery. The gigafactories to produce Lithium cells and batteries being set up across the country as a result of the immense support from Biden-Harris Administration’s IRA and IIJA initiatives rely on the domestic production and source of cathode active material. This is currently a huge gap in the domestic supply chain that Sparkz is filling,” said founder and CEO Sanjiv Malhotra. The Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to support economic revitalization in energy communities is extremely important for workers and job creators like us as we scale to full commercial production.”

In the application, SPARKZ agreed to provisions for prevailing wage and apprenticeship (PWA) requirements. In 2023, SPARKZ and the United Auto Workers announced they had signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a national labor-management agreement and statement of neutrality. SPARKZ signed a similar agreement with the United Mine Workers of America in 2022. Both agreements initiate a strong foothold for the unions in battery manufacturing and provide SPARKZ with a partnership to recruit and train the best workers in America.

The company continues to fulfill its pledge from a 2021 meeting at the White House. At that meeting with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, and Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin, Malhotra committed to “setting our sights on making other EV battery components super localized in Appalachia and other locations in the U.S.”

Copyright © Sparkz Inc. 2023

Founder & CEO

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra is the founder and CEO of Sparkz—the battery start-up reinventing the energy supply chain.


Malhotra has been a leader in the energy sector for nearly three decades as a founder, investor and executive. Most recently, he served as the inaugural director for the Energy Investor Center at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations.


At DOE, Malhotra led the Obama Administration’s initiative to boost public-private partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed in national research centers like Oak Ridge National Labs.


Malhotra was recruited to the Department of Energy after a successful exit of Oorja Protonics—the world leader in methanol fuel cells—which he founded and led as CEO for 10 years. Oorja raised $50 Million in equity financing from leading VCs such as Sequoia, DAG Ventures, Artis Capital and others during his tenure. He boosted Oorja’s revenue and profitability growth, while expanding operations globally in Japan, China, South Africa, Mexico, and India.


Oorja was acquired in 2014 by the Private Equity firm MinXing Growth Fund.


As an investor and consultant, Malhotra has worked at leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers as an advisor on clean energy and advanced materials.


Earlier in his career, Malhotra led the engineering and product development team at H Power, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cells. As part of the management team, he managed the successful IPO, which raised more than $100 million in August 2000.


He began his career as a post-doctoral fellow at the renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Labs on electrochemical storage systems. Dr. Malhotra has authored seven patents and more than 40 publications in various fields of energy storage technology and materials. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering and an M.B.A from University of Iowa.