Sankar Das Gupta, CEO of Electovaya
Electrovaya: Batting 1000
By Bill Moore
Toronto area-based lithium polymer battery maker Electrovaya recently acquired a battery plant in Germany and along with it the rights to their silicon separator technology, creating a new cell with greater safety and longer cycle life, reports CEO Sankar Das Gupta.
I first met Sankar Das Gupta, the CEO of Electrovaya (TSX: EFL) (OTCQX: EFLVF) , a lithium polymer battery maker in the Greater Toronto area, quite literally on the deck of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, California. We were both attending the same EVAA conference. A decade-long friendship would ensue on both the professional and personal level: we both have smart, career-focused, but unmarried daughters for whom we'd love to find husbands. :-)
Where any number of battery companies then in similar startup phase have come and gone through the years, Electrovaya has managed to survive and thrive, winning NASA contracts for space suit batteries and power packs for Chrysler electric vehicle prototypes to name just a few. [Note: EV World has some 63 news reports in our database on Electrovaya].
But building EV batteries is highly competitive with serious big competitors: Panasonic, LG Chem, Samsung SDI, just to name a few. Now the Mississauga, Ontario company may just have gained the edge it needs through the acquisition of Litarion, a Germany battery maker. In addition to getting the Dresden firm's state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, Electrovaya also acquired their proprietary silicon separator technology. As CEO Das Gupta explains in this two-part EV World Dialogue interview, by combining Electrovaya technology and Litharion's, the newly merged firms have created a battery with enhanced thermal safety and significantly improved cycle life; something companies from Boeing to Sanyo are looking for.
Electrovaya, which already provides traction batteries to Hyster-Yale for their industrial forklifts, submitted samples of the new pouch-type cells for testing to five different OEMs in Europe. After several months of extensive testing and evaluation, all five had signed various agreements to utilize the new batteries: in effect, batting 1000 to use a baseball term.
Video Part 1
Video Part 2
Originally published: 24 Oct 2016
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