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'Everything is connected to this area'

Though most people don’t know what goes into manufacturing the batteries that power their cellphones, electric cars or computers, one local company specializes in the production of these batteries in an innovative and energy-conscious way.

Charge CCCV, or C4V, a company operating out of the Center of Excellence on Binghamton University's ITC campus, has developed and patented methods for creating these cutting-edge, renewable batteries of tomorrow.

The best part? They’re producing those batteries right here in Broome County.

“The [current] manufacturing for lithium ion batteries is not so clean, although the battery itself is very clean and used for solar products, electric cars and so forth,” said C4V president Shailesh Upreti.

“We’ve solved some of the fundamental supply chain issues--and other manufacturing issues--to make [this production process] cleaner” and the batteries longer-lasting and more renewable Upreti went on.

C4V’s product is all about sustainability, “green-living and [the] next generation” of clean energy storage, according to Upreti.

Originally from Uttarakhand northern India, Shailesh Upreti came to Broome County in late 2006 to work full-time under Binghamton University Professor Stanley Whittingham PhD--this revolutionary battery’s inventor--who had a connection to one of Upreti’s advisors at his Alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

This eventually led to Upreti becoming one of the founders of C4V.

C4V’s formation in 2014 was a fusion of the innovative infrastructure Professor Whittingham created at Binghamton University through his network, research and technology, combined with our region’s strategic location and the richness in powder technology that can only be found in Broome County.

From Upreti’s vantage point, the culmination of these circumstances was “an ideal environment” for their company to begin. He and his other founders “came in as a bridge, connecting all these things that were already here” and started C4V.

The process of starting the company was “very smooth,” according to Upreti who noted the extensive support they received from Binghamton University, NY-BEST and NYSERDA, Binghamton ESD, as well as the big financial--and confidence--boost received from New York State for winning second place in the 2016 76West Clean Energy Competition.

“More than giving grants, this is a competition where you have to prove yourself and your business model. [It] gives you [a] satisfaction and motivation to be recognized” in an industry that’s in the “very early stages of its boom,” Upreti explained.

Even more than recognition from state industry leaders and organizations, C4V was recognized by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development just a few months ago in a major local announcement for contributing to the revitalization of Endicott’s urban center.

By the end of next year, C4V (and their subsidiary Imperium3) will be operating out of former IBM-EJ campus, starting with producing 400 of these battery cells per minute with over 200 employees!

They’re hoping to expand those employment and production volume to 15GWh as this industry continues to develop, which Upreti is optimistic about.

As our population expands, our world is becoming increasingly more reliant on technology, he explained, and “all our energy needs and requirements are increasing [as well]--between mobile phones, laptops, TV, our homes and so forth,” meaning the opportunities are endless for “energy storage.”

Our company is “talking about a solution to this problem that is beyond what exists today. Our technology, combined with solar & wind, could be exactly what we need,” said Upreti.

Despite the groundbreaking national, and global, opportunities for this company, Upreti will always be loyal to Broome County--the birthplace of C4V’s cutting-edge product.