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Fossil-fuel giants invest in battery storage

Thu, 05/24/2018 - 16:16 -- John Shepherd
Fossil-fuel giants invest in battery storage

Germany-based battery storage firm Sonnen and Israeli fast-charge developer StoreDot have secured cash boosts from the investment arms of two fossil fuel multinationals in separate deals.

Germany’s Sonnen has raised EUR60 million ($70.5m) in a financing round led by Shell Ventures— the private equity arm of oil and gas giant Shell.

Sonnen said it had launched a cooperation agreement with Shell's New Energies division— alongside its investment deal— to focus on “enhanced electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions and the provision of grid services”.

Earlier this year, Sonnen said it was opening a plant in South Australia to manufacture 50,000 of its lithium iron phosphate battery storage systems over the next five years.

Meanwhile, venture capital firm BP Ventures has invested $20m in FlashBattery developer StoreDot.

Chief executive of BP’s Downstream business, Tufan Erginbilgic, said: “Ultra-fast charging is at the heart of BP’s electrification strategy. StoreDot’s technology shows real potential for car batteries that can charge in the same time it takes to fill a gas tank.”

StoreDot said its battery tech, which is lithium-ion-based, enables ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. The company expects first sales of its FlashBattery for mobile devices in 2019.

BP’s backing follows a $60m investment in StoreDot last year led by the truck division of German car giant Daimler.

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