1955 Capital MP Andrew Chung says Portfolio Company Gridtential Closer to Commercialization via Global Partnerships

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--1955 Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, today announced that one of its portfolio companies, Gridtential Energy, the inventor and developer of Silicon Joule™ bipolar battery technology, has achieved key milestones towards commercialization through partnerships with two of the largest global battery manufacturers, Hoppecke Battery GmbH and Crown Battery.

1955 Capital Founder and Managing Partner Andrew Chung serves on Gridtential’s Board of Directors, and Dr. Ryan Gilliam, Venture Partner at 1955 Capital, serves on its Advisory Board.

Using technology similar to a solar cell, Gridtential Energy's breakthrough technology allows batteries to potentially deliver up to 5X the power density with up to a 40% weight reduction – and can be manufactured in current lead battery plants.

Silicon Joule™ bipolar technology has created an innovative class of lead batteries with silicon at its core. It is a design driven, low cost, high performance, patented energy storage solution that provides improved power density, cycle life, dynamic charge acceptance and temperature range, with up to 40% lower weight, while retaining full lead-battery recyclability. This is all accomplished while leveraging existing technologies from mature industry supply chains – allowing rapid adoption of existing lead-battery infrastructure.

Manufacturing partners can easily adapt their factories to provide high performing, higher voltage 24V & 48V batteries to their customers for the hybrid-automotive, energy storage & traction markets - all without giga-scale capital investments.

Compared to standard lead batteries, Silicon Joule™ bipolar battery technology targets removal up to 40% of lead and associated weight through elimination of lead grid and strap material; an increase in cycle life by 3X to 5X; an improvement in DCA (Dynamic Charge Acceptance) by 3X to 10X; an extension of the operating temperature by +10°C; and a reduction in the cost of ownership over the life of the battery by up to 80%, depending on application.

“Gridtential’s technology seeks to combine the best of lead and lithium-ion performance in batteries with a product offering that we believe is cost-effective and scalable,” said Andrew Chung, 1955 Capital founder and Gridtential board member. “It is critical for battery technology companies to work with manufacturing partners earlier to understand end-customer requirements and how best to achieve scale commercialization. Gridtential’s ability to leverage existing manufacturing infrastructure has enabled them to attract multiple global partners.”

Gridtential Energy entered into a technology evaluation agreement last week with Hoppecke Battery GmbH, the largest producer of industry battery systems in European ownership. Under the agreement, over the next few months, Hoppecke Battery and Gridtential Energy will collaborate on assembly and testing of Silicon Joule™ bipolar reference batteries using metrics for cycle life, energy density, battery efficiency, charging rates and manufacturability.

This news comes shortly after another partnership success in October, when Gridtential and Crown Battery, a leading global manufacturer of 99% recyclable batteries came together at the Crown Battery manufacturing facility in Fremont, OH to complete the largest production run of Silicon Joule™ bipolar batteries to date, significantly exceeding yield and throughput targets established for the current design.

Manufacturability validation was a key objective for the event and with the benefit of pre-manufactured materials, including treated silicon wafers, the rate of manual production reached less than 5 minutes per unit. Batteries produced during this event were filled, formed and shipped to investment partners and customers with evaluation agreements spanning four continents and includes two US automotive OEMs.

"We feel fortunate to work with like-minded battery manufacturers and equipment suppliers to produce products that open up new markets and extend the dominance of lead batteries in the energy storage arena by harnessing more of lead's performance potential," said Gridtential Energy CEO, John Barton. "First movers in the market for high-performance, low-cost energy storage, enabled by our Silicon Joule silicon-lead technology, will be rewarded with a significant commercial advantage. We are excited by the prospects for partners like Hoppecke Battery and Crown Battery to be very successful in that endeavor."

Industries from automotive to grid energy storage are searching for lower-cost, sustainable power solutions to meet diverse energy needs. With successful commercialization of Gridtential’s Silicon Joule™ bipolar battery technology that combines the benefits of lead batteries with high-performance characteristics enabled by silicon, partners like Crown Battery and Hoppecke Battery will be prepared to meet the global challenge.

"With any new technology, the second breakthrough is the day it's produced on a larger scale," says Hal Hawk, President and CEO of Crown Battery Manufacturing.

"In keeping with our future vision, to meet the challenge of change, we must pursue forward-looking research and development projects," said Dr. Marc Zoellner, CEO, Hoppecke Battery.

About 1955 Capital

1955 Capital was founded by Andrew Chung to invest in companies that can address the developing world’s most pressing challenges related to energy, healthcare, food, agriculture, education and sustainable manufacturing. With over a decade of experience investing in these sectors at leading global firms like Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Ventures, Chung has experience in identifying technologies with significant impact potential in developing countries, and supporting entrepreneurs in developing mutually productive partnerships. The firm is based in San Mateo, California. More information is available at www.1955.capital.

About Gridtential Energy

Gridtential's cutting-edge Silicon Joule™ battery architecture combines the traditional benefits of lead batteries – low cost, recyclability, and safety – with the performance and life cycle usually associated with lithium batteries. Gridtential is focused on applications ranging from hybrid automotive to grid storage, back-up power for cloud computing, material handling equipment and many others. Collaborating with a 600GWh-scale global manufacturing base and a near-100% recycling infrastructure, Gridtential and its licensing partners are planning beta and then commercial production of the Silicon Joule enabled batteries across the next two years. To learn more, visit: http://www.gridtential.com/.

About Hoppecke Battery

Hoppecke is a leading manufacturer and specialist of industrial battery systems, as well as being the largest battery manufacturer in European ownership. Hoppecke specializes in such sectors as solar energy, reserve power for IT/telecoms, power stations, motive power, uninterrupted power supplies, and special power for rail and underground. The parent firm was founded in Germany in 1927 as a family run enterprise, which carried the motto 'Power from Innovation' which the business ran its ethos. Hoppecke is continually expanding due to the organization's strong focus on customer service, commitment to providing great quality, giving the end-user solutions to fit their needs through constant innovation, and a deep sense of responsibility for the environment. To learn more, visit: http://www.hoppecke.com/.

About Crown Battery

Founded in 1926, Crown Battery's deep-cycle batteries are revolutionized by computer-augmented R&D and robotic manufacturing - and trusted for over 90+ years to power businesses, industrial and residential vehicles, off-grid homes and villages, and more than 100 other applications on six continents. Every Crown battery is designed, engineered, and manufactured at the company's ISO 9001:2015- certified headquarters in Fremont, OH, USA. Robotic welding offers 400X the precision of manual welding; the industry's heaviest plates provide for more chemical reactions and life; and a 250+ point inspection ensures maximum lifespan, durability, and performance. To learn more, visit: https://www.crownbattery.com.


1955 Capital
Wendy Tanaka
+1 424.255.0482 mobile

Gridtential Energy
Doug Wilson
+1 636.634.1471

Hoppecke Battery
Dr. Bernhard Riegel
+49 2963 61 778

Crown Battery
Tony Zarembski
+1 734.926.5105