OTC News Archive

Battery startups hitting the road with lithium-ion

Josie Garthwaite, earth2tech.com
July 20, 2009

With billions of dollars in government funds coming down the pipeline for advanced batteries courtesy of the stimulus package, and the auto industry gearing up to make its first real go at marketing plug-in vehicles for the masses, the race to build lithium-ion batteries for vehicles has never been hotter.

Massive international battery makers may dominate the mobile device and laptop markets for lithium-ion batteries, but a growing number of companies—some founded just in the last year, others that have been around for over a decade—are hoping to carve out a piece of the battery vehicle market. They have their work cut out for them, however, as more established companies such as Sanyo, Hitachi and NEC are eying the same prize.

ActaCell: Having raised $5.8 million in a Series A round led by DFJ Mercury and joined by Google.org last summer, ActaCell has been working toward a 2010 commercial launch. ActaCell’s devices, which it expects to have a longer cycle life at lower costs than the competition, are based on technology developed at The University of Texas at Austin. The company has joined the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, a group of 50 U.S. companies that plan to invest more than $600 million in a battery R&D center in Kentucky, if DOE funds come through.