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This batterytech startup raised $3.1M to develop high-power Li-ion battery cells

South 8 Technologies
Photo Credit: South 8 Technologies

The US Department of Energy has awarded South 8 Technologies a $3.152M EVs4ALL grant, which will be used to reduce the cost and improve the performance of high-power, fast-charging lithium-ion batteries.

As part of a three-year collaboration with a major automaker, these will be developed and assessed.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has chosen South 8 Technologies to take part in its American Low-Carbon Living (EVs4ALL) programme. South 8 Technologies is the creator of a novel liquefied gas (LiGas) electrolyte for the next generation of secure and high-performing lithium-ion batteries.

“The South 8 team is excited to be selected for the EVs4ALL program because its goal of making e-mobility solutions available to everyone aligns with own,” said Cyrus Rustomji, CEO and co-founder of South 8 Technologies. “Our LiGas electrolyte reduces the cost of EV battery manufacturing and increases battery performance.”

Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy David Turk stated that South 8 Technologies’ LiGas electrolyte and implementation by tier-one car manufacturers will be necessary for the U.S. to meet the ambitious government goals for the number of EVs on the road and air quality. He announced the funding of 12 projects totaling $42M, including South 8’s.

The “Liquefied Gas Electrolytes for Next-Gen EV Batteries” project at South 8 is supported by ARPA-EVs4ALL E’s programme, which aims to expand the market for EVs by creating new batteries that are faster to charge, more efficient at low temperatures, and more robust.

A spin-out of the University of California San Diego, South 8 Technologies was founded in 2015 by Cyrus Rustomji and Jungwoo Lee to develop liquefied gas electrolyte chemistry for lithium metal batteries and electrochemical capacitors.  They developed its patented technology at the university itself. Compared to conventional liquid electrolytes, LiGas electrolyte from South 8 is safer, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. It enhances security, boosts energy density, achieves all-weather performance, allows fast charging, lowers costs, and is compatible with current lithium-ion cell manufacturing processes.

A previous round of funding led by Anzu Partners included LG Ventures, Shell Ventures, Foothill Ventures, and Taiyo Nippon Sanso, as well as participation from other venture capital firms.

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