Can Dyson clean up in the battery sector?
Marking the UK company’s first ever external investment, Dyson is backing Sakti3, start-up out of the University of Michigan. The company claims the solid-state battery technology will be a huge improvement on existing lithium-ion batteries, storing about twice as much power.
Dyson, which was founded by CEO, Sir James Dyson, claimed the technology could produce batteries with power densities which “couldn’t have imagined a year or two ago”.
Dyson is expected to use the solid-state batteries in the company’s cordless and robotic vacuum cleaners, which are at the moment powered by traditional technology. The 600-mile power of Sakti3’s batteries would remove the problem of ‘range anxiety’ for electric car users.
As well as lasting much longer, Sakti3’s batteries should also prove easier to produce and be safer than most popular existing batteries.
Sakti3’s solid state batteries use solid electrodes, rather than liquid chemicals.
Sakti’s battery technology was recognized with IHS CERAWeek’s Energy Innovation Pioneer Award (2014) and was named by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies (2012). Sakti’s senior team has more than 100 years’ collective experience in research, manufacturing, and leadership. The company is a spinout of the University of Michigan, where its founding team created laboratories, published over 80 papers on battery technology, and demonstrated its first early prototypes. The company has been financed previously by Khosla Ventures, General Motors Ventures, Beringea and Itochu Technology Ventures.
Electronics hardware and software design has become a key element in product development work at Dyson.
Dyson is increasingly focusing on electronics design and is planning to create an electronics development centre at the company’s facility in Wiltshire. The consumer company is planning to expand its electronics hardware and software development teams in 2015.
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