Canadian Manufacturing

Vacuum maker Dyson invests $18M in battery start-up

The announcement is part of Dyson's $2.6 billion plan to invest in future technologies

WILTSHIRE U.K.—Household technology company Dyson is investing CAN$18 million into Michigan-based Sakti3, a solid-state battery technology company.

The announcement is part of Dyson’s $2.6 billion plan to invest in future technologies and create 100 new machines in four new technology portfolios over the next four years.

Dyson’s move is part of an investment round of $24 million that includes a joint development agreement to commercialize Sakti3’s solid state technology, integrating it into future Dyson machines.

“Sakti3 has achieved leaps in performance which current battery technology simply can’t. It’s these fundamental technologies – batteries, motors – that allow machines to work properly. The Sakti3 team has amazing ambitions, and their platform offers the potential for exponential performance gains that will supercharge the Dyson machines we know today,” said Dyson’s Founder and Chief Engineer James Dyson.

Current Lithium-ion (Li-ion) technology was first released commercially by Sony in 1991 it’s found in consumer electronic goods from smartphones to Dyson’s cordless vacuums. But the Li-ion battery technology is hampered by size, weight, charge time and capacity limitations, as well as power degradation.

Sakti3 has built and commissioned a pilot line to produce its solid-state competitor to Li-ion technology, raising over $60 million CAD ($50 million USD) in equity investments from Khosla Ventures, Beringea, Itochu and General Motors, in addition to Dyson.

The company claims its prototype solid-state battery cells have the highest known energy density of any battery—over 1100 Wh/l. This rating doubles the density of today’s most advanced liquid lithium-ion batteries, while also maintaining the potential to be cheaper to manufacture, smaller, safer, more reliable and longer lasting.

Dyson says Sakti3’s technology has the potential to provide much larger leaps in energy density, and will have uses for electric vehicles, the storage of renewable power, the miniaturization of technology, as well as entirely new applications.

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