Moxion Power electrifies the future
JLL finds a 15-acre warehouse space and helps secure a $15m grant for the clean energy startup
Moxion Power’s facility will ramp up production capacity.
200,000 Sq.ft MFG
120,000 Sq.ft HQ
Creating hundreds of jobs in the Bay Area
Perched on the Richmond, California shoreline sits an out-of-use WWII-era automobile factory where a growing startup is turning history on its head—disrupting the diesel generator industry with a battery-electric alternative.
Moxion Power (Moxion), backed by investors like Amazon and Microsoft, is pioneering temporary power-as-a-service with the goal of replacing noisy, expensive and environmentally harmful generators with a suite of clean, mobile energy storage products.
“Think of it like the power pack you have for your cell phone,” said Josh Ensign, co-founder and COO of Moxion. “You carry that around in your pocket and when you get low on charge, you plug your phone in and recharge on the go. We do something similar but on a much larger scale. Our product could recharge your phone every day for 100 years.”
In 2021, Moxion had just a 14-person team in the Bay Area’s historic Ford Point landmark property. Today there are more than 275 employees, with plans to grow to over 1,000 in the coming years. The enormous interest in cleaner temporary power alternatives meant Moxion had to grow… fast. Their 120,000-square-foot headquarters/factory site couldn’t accommodate the demand for their groundbreaking products.
Moxion wanted to build a second gigafactory in the US and “that’s why we engaged JLL to help us with a nationwide site search,” Ensign said. “I had worked with Greg Matter and the JLL team at two prior companies, always with great results. Given the importance of this project and the short timeline, we knew we had to work with someone we could trust, someone that could deliver results. So, we called JLL.”
The first step in the site selection process meant getting to know the Moxion team, said Greg Matter, Executive Managing Director for JLL Industrial.
“The relationship between us is a partnership, and the more time we spent with them, the more we understood their business and how crucial it was to scale production sooner rather than later,” Matter said.
Using proprietary tools like Blackbird and MapIt, the JLL team identified key demographics of Moxion’s target workforce, evaluating sites that were “shovel ready” to meet the urgency of production, finding a location that embodied the outdoor lifestyle that’s part of the company culture, and assessing areas of potentially high demand to accelerate growth.
“The team started by evaluating 15 different U.S. markets and comparing them across 40 different variables, eventually narrowing the list to five possible sites that fit Moxion’s workforce demographic needs and proximity to its headquarters,” Ada Wong, Vice President, Brokerage for JLL, said.
“As a manufacturing executive, what's important to me when I think about factory footprint is a couple of things: One, what type of incentives will be available to us? Two, what's the workforce look like? How many skilled trades are there? Three, what's the power situation?” Ensign said. “There are different elements of the JLL community that Greg and the team can tap into to provide me as a client a full package of the information I need to decide where we want to go and where we want to expand.”
JLL’s team, which also included project management and design, scrubbed the better part of the Western U.S. for a manufacturing site, only to find the perfect location directly across the street from their headquarters in the Bay Area.
The 200,000 square feet of vertically integrated manufacturing space will give Moxion the capacity to fill the demand they were seeing in the market. In addition, JLL’s in-depth analysis allowed Moxion to secure a grant from the California Energy Commission—to the tune of $15 million.
“We have chosen to be vertically integrated. We do everything from module manufacturing to final assembly in-house. This gives us a cost and speed advantage,” Moxion President and co-founder Alex Meek said. “One of the reasons that made California so appealing is that they ensure the new businesses and technologies that are developed here are also incentivized to stay here.”
“JLL has proven their value over and over and will continue to be a valued partner of ours as we expand,” Moxion CEO Paul Huelskamp said. “You can just look at the $15 million grant–JLL was a big part of that.”
The final property gave Moxion a ton of upside including:
- The ability to influence building design, including installing solar on the roof and a covered parking area. They could also move in faster because they could create the office design and build out at the same time.
- Additional power upgrades
- The ability to closely monitor the construction progress
The Moxion team and the JLL crew plan to stay connected as the startup continues to electrify the future, echoing JLL’s mission to see a brighter and more innovative way forward.
“We had a standing call at 3:00 p.m. on Thursdays, and when the project was over, the team turned to us and said, do we have to cancel it? Because we wanted to continue to hang out and continue the friendship,” Matter said.
“With JLL, it's not a customer and supplier relationship, it's a partnership, and I feel like we're going to battle together, and they're fighting on our behalf,” Ensign said. “At some point in time, you kind of blur the lines—you forget that they're not part of the same team because they behave like they're on your team every day.”