Look for the next generation of batteries, particularly for the power grid, to come out this year from some interesting startups.
A Bill Gates and Khosla-backed battery startup, Ambri, has reached an important milestone: it’s opened up its first small scale factory.
Here’s 13 rare battery startups working on next-generation manufacturing, chemistry and printing technologies. These battery companies could create innovation that could revolutionize electric cars, the power grid and how we charge up our gadgets and cell phones.
Liquid Metal Battery — a promising battery startup backed by Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures and oil giant Total — has changed it’s name to Ambri, a shorter and less literal word that’s a nod to Cambridge, where the company was founded.
Despite that venture funding for cleantech is cooling off, some companies are still able to get money for growth. For example, biochemical company Elevance Renewable Sciences has raised a $104 million Series E round from oil giant Total’s investing arm, and Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad.
Solar startup Konarka’s bankruptcy, announced last week, wasn’t just the latest case of the solar industry being hit by the dropping cost of silicon, and cheap modules and panels from China. The company’s technology just “could not compete on cost, efficiency, or lifetime,” says Lux Research.
Konarka Technologies, a maker of organic solar thin films, said Friday it’s going bankrupt, an announcement that may not be so surprising to many who have watched and waited for the venture-backed company to try to build a viable business.
SunPower, whose fight for survival forced it to find a new owner and embark on a significant cost-reduction plan, said on Monday that it will stop producing cells at one of its factories to save money.
Investors and entrepreneurs don’t always connect via the standard VC pitch. According to Phil Giudice, the CEO of a battery startup called Liquid Metal Battery, his company found their most high profile investor, Bill Gates, through a more unusual way: the classroom.
SunPower said on Thursday in its earnings call that it will be going on the offensive in 2012, aggressively selling solar projects and residential leases, and developing more efficient solar panels.