Battery Startup Cuberg Receives Funding from Boeing

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Cuberg, a battery startup “Founded based on graduate research work in the materials science department at Stanford,” includes individuals who worked with Yi Cui at the school.  They promote their safe electrolyte as a key element in their new battery.  “Our highly stable proprietary electrolyte enables the use of high-voltage cathodes and lithium metal anodes in a safe and reliable format.”

Their video shows the relative safety of that premise.  It starts, though, with a quick review of their manufacturing techniques, which are similar to standard methods used in most batteries.

The team, headed by Richard Wang, “Entrepreneur and Battery Scientist,” includes co-founder Mauro Pasta, an Associate Professor at Oxford University.  His Linked In profile includes this note: “Cuberg is an energy startup company developing a new generation of safer and higher energy batteries based on a high-performance electrolyte technology. When combined with our unique cell design, our batteries deliver not only improved energy but also greatly enhanced shelf life, calendar life, and stability at elevated temperatures. Our technology will power the portable electronics of the future and bring about electric vehicles with improved affordability and range.”

Cuberg battery structure allows use of standard manufacturing techniques, tools

Their innovative electrolyte (which the company promotes as a drop-in replacement for existing chemistries), prototype manufacturing in commercial formats, and ability to resist flammable self-destruction, enabled them to obtain funding from the high tech accelerator Cyclotron Road, and their good energy density (a reported 280 kilowatt-hours per kilogram) possibly helped unlock additional funding from Boeing’s Horizon X Ventures.

CNBC reports, “The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Boeing spokeswoman Megan Hilfer said the investment was typical of Boeing HorizonX’s minority equity investments ‘that span the single millions up to the low double-digit millions’ of dollars.”

One can see the relationship between intrinsically safe, lightweight batteries and Horizon X projects such as Zunum.  Richard Wang told CNBC.  “’Currently, battery technology is still heavy.  You need to take a leap to the next generation.’”

Cuberg battery compared to other energy storage devices.  These batteries will initially be costly, but useful in applications where reliability and safety are most important

But Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX, sees the startup’s product as promising.  “Cuberg’s battery technology has some of the highest energy density we’ve seen in the marketplace, and its unique chemistries could prove to be a safe, stable solution for future electric air transportation,”

Cuberg feels its products can replace conventional lithium batteries in any application where light weight and high energy density are important.  Targeting “a specialty battery market serving the oil and gas industry where energy density, safety, and high-temperature stability are critically important,” Cuberg sees a future in “the creation of entirely new classes of devices and products. Flying cars, here we come.”

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