Zinc battery contenders continue to near wide spread commercialization. Enzinc, which is developing high-powered zinc batteries for mobility and stationary uses, closed a $4.5 million seed round this week that will allow it to finalize prototype testing and automate its anode production line design.
“We were as impressed by Enzinc’s business model as we were by its groundbreaking technology,” said Nicholas Walrod, Managing Director at Portland-based 3×5 Partners, which led the funding. “Not only are its batteries built using readily-available zinc, solving supply chain issues, but also it will be able to rapidly scale production by leveraging existing lead acid manufacturing plants around the globe.”
Why zinc? Enzinc’s microsponge anode solves the challenges that have limited zinc’s potential as a rechargeable battery material. Batteries manufactured by lead acid brands with the ‘Enzinc Inside’ drop-in technology will have the power of lithium at the cost of lead acid, with no fire potential or HVAC requirement and a wide temperature operating range, according to Enzinc. In addition, this tech could use abundant and recyclable minerals.
“It’s crucial that the supply of batteries keep up with the demand coming from electrifying buildings, transportation and the grid. We have to diversify the types of batteries used and not risk betting the whole energy transition on a single chemistry such as lithium ion,” said Michael Burz, founder and CEO of Enzinc. “The team at 3×5 Partners bring a depth of expertise in growing innovative firms, and we are pleased to partner with them.”
The announcement follows Enzinc being awarded $1.8 million under the Bringing Rapid Innovation Development to Green Energy, or BRIDGE, grants through the California Energy Commission (CEC) Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program.
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