Banking

How top battery startup Enevate plans to cash in on Biden’s $10 million plan to crack fast charging for electric cars

  • Some battery startups hope to cash in on Biden’s $10 million plan to boost fast charging.
  • Enevate has been flying under the radar, developing its solution for 16 years.
  • Now, it plans to leverage investments from LG Chem and Panasonic to win government funding.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden wants to spent $10 million on fast charging battery tech to spur the adoption of electric vehicles, and one startup in particular is moving to cash in on the potential government largesse. 

While many of the top startups in the battery space have expressed little interest in chasing public funds, fast charging-focused Enevate is ready to use its $200 million private funding total to ramp up production and make itself an attractive target for government funding. 

“It’s an important initiative. I think we have a role to play in it and want to contribute,” sales and marketing lead Kevin Schrantz said of the president’s goals.

The Irvine, California-based startup pitches a cost-effective alternative to lithium-ion cells by creating a more energy dense silicon solution for battery manufacturers. Essentially, it replaces a key part of the car battery – the anode –  with what it calls a safer, cheaper and more efficient material. 

Enevate landed its first funding round in 2008 and has since brought in money from investors like Panasonic, LG Chem, and the Renault-Mitsubishi-Nissan alliance.

The startup has a lot of credibility to bring with it to the space, according to PitchBook mobility analyst Asad Hussain. “They leverage existing manufacturing facilities, so it’s not as much of a cumbersome process to switch over to their technology,” he told Insider.

Aside from cutting cost by producing tech that can adapt to existing production tools, Enevate promises to save customers money by using less material in its cells, aiming for a low-carbon product that doesn’t rely on lithium-ion. 

“I think it’s a really important tipping point for the industry,” Hussain said. “And I think if they can execute on their vision, they could be really well positioned to benefit from the rising tide of electrification.”

Enevate has been working toward commercializing its cells for about 15 years and the startup is approaching the start of reaching that goal, according to Schrantz. 

“What we can’t quite put our finger on yet, is whether there’s tech development money that we could help leverage,” Schrantz told Insider. “Or if we might be a supplier to someone who received the money to develop at a battery level.”

And the company hopes that if it can’t break into direct cash flow from Biden’s plan, that some of the funding will trickle down and bring its fast charging solution to future hordes of EVs.

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