Irvine-based Enevate Corp. says batteries using its lithium-ion technology will be produced and marketed by South Korea’s EnerTech International as of next year for electric vehicles and other cutting-edge uses, after the two companies reached a licensing deal.
“It’s the first public license we are able to comment on,” Enevate founder and Chief Technology Officer Ben Park told the Business Journal on June 11. The company’s other deals are covered by non-disclosure agreements.
The South Korean company will produce and sell the batteries, Park said, while no financial terms were disclosed.
“Our plan is for batteries to be sold to customers next year,” Park said. “Those are tight timelines. I think they’re all doable.”
Car manufacturers are increasingly looking to electric power, spurring interest in the silicon-dominant lithium-ion battery technology.
Enevate’s battery technology is said to deliver up to 10 times faster charging than conventional lithium-ion batteries with high energy densities along with a host of other benefits, including improved safety and low-temperature operation for cold climates.
The company’s technology allows for a battery to charge in as fast as five minutes.
Park, who holds a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of California, Irvine, received a Business Journal Innovator of the Year Award in 2016.
Enevate initially focused on developing batteries for cellphones and other consumer electronics before pivoting to the auto industry in 2016.
The company says it aims to make its battery technology accessible and affordable to everyone, as it develops battery technology that contributes to a clean and sustainable environment.
“We’re planning to ramp up our own personnel and our own expertise around scale-up just to help accelerate further adoption of the technology,” Park said.
EnerTech delivers lithium-ion cells using state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to produce high-performance, large format batteries that are in demand by today’s rapidly growing markets.
Pre-production batteries have been built and tested using EnerTech’s existing battery manufacturing equipment. With the agreement, Enevate will deliver enabling technology to accelerate EnerTech’s market expansion and triple its manufacturing capacity output.
Next Gen is Here
“The next-generation battery technology is here today,” Enevate CEO Robert Rango said.
The company’s investors include Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (Alliance Ventures), LG Chem, Samsung Venture Investment Corp., Fidelity Management & Research Company, Mission Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tsing Capital, Infinite Potential Technologies, Presidio Ventures–a Sumitomo Corporation company, Lenovo, CEC Capital, and Bangchak.
Enevate may be heading for an IPO within two years following an $81 million funding round announced in February, Rango told the Business Journal earlier this year. “It’s not determined just yet, but I think that this money could very well take us through to an IPO down the road” and that could be “within two years,” he said on Feb. 10.
Like the rest of California, Enevate is coming back from the COVID-19 shutdowns.
“We do have people coming in with all the proper precautions in place to do some work. But a good chunk of the company is working from home,” according to Park.
“I guess you could call it a hybrid work scenario right now,” the CTO said.