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Lead-acid battery giants back silicon joule firm Gridtential

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 13:16 -- Paul Crompton
Lead-acid battery giants back silicon joule firm Gridential

Advanced battery firm Gridtential has gained $6 million of investment from a group of the industry’s biggest lead-acid suppliers and distributors.

Investors include lead-acid battery maker East Penn Manufacturing; deep-cycle battery firm Crown Battery Manufacturing; lead-acid exporter Leoch International, and global distributor Power-Sonic.

The funding will support further cost reductions and scaling of manufacturing processes to deliver 12-48V batteries.

Gridtential is targeting the auto industry shift from 12V to 48V high-voltage systems in connected cars. 

To some in the industry, 48V lead-based batteries are seen as the best way of making hybrid cars meet European Union CO2 limits of 95 g/km, which will come into 100% affect by 2021.

The group of investors have been working with Gridtential to validate the potential of Silicon-Joule batteries for four years.

Gridtential’s Silicon Joule™ technology allows manufacturers to replace a battery’s lead grid with a plated silicon wafer.

The deal comes just months after battery veteran Ray Kubis became the company’s chairman of the board.

Kubis, said: “Rather than spending our time and efforts on continuous fund raising, we’ve chosen a capital-light path with an existing global network of suppliers that will swiftly exceed giga-scale production of advanced lead-based batteries to meet rapidly growing application demand.”

“East Penn continues to explore advanced battery technologies, and the company strongly believes that lead-based solutions will play a significant role in powering future needs,” said Kevin Smith, East Penn’s VP of Technology.

Gridtential licenses its technology and builds out its drop-in specialty Silicon wafer supply to enable manufacturers to adapt existing factories for 12-48V batteries without large-scale capital investments.