East Penn Manufacturing eyes future in renewable energy

East Penn Manufacturing produces 160,000 automotive batteries per day at its plant near Lyons, the most prolific facility of its kind in the world. But as demand for renewable energy rises across the United States, Berks County's largest employer also strives to become the innovator and leader of new technologies. "East Penn is primarily a lead battery company," said Chris Pruitt, president and CEO of East Penn Manufacturing. "We think lead will be here for a long, long period of time — but there's a lot of research and development going on in regard to lithium and other chemistries today." Speaking at the World Affairs Council of Greater Reading breakfast on Wednesday, Pruitt indicated the company behind the Deka brand is a long way from a seismic shift in a business model that generated $2.8 billion in annual revenue.

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