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Dyson buying Li-ion solid-state battery company Sakti3 for $90M

19 October 2015

USA Today has confirmed an earlier unconfirmed report by Quartz that UK-based Dyson will acquire solid-state Li-ion battery startup Sakti3 (earlier post) for $90 million. Dyson invested $15 million in Sakti3 earlier this year.

James Dyson, founder and chief engineer of the eponymous manufacturing and technology company, told USA Today in an interview that Dyson plans to build a major battery factory and also plans to use Sakti3’s technology to improve the battery life on its cordless vacuums and to deliver new products. The acquisition, noted the report, will fuel speculation that Dyson possibly seek to become a supplier of electric-drivetrain technology.

In August 2014, Sakti3 announced that it had produced a battery cell on fully scalable equipment with more than 1100 Watt hours per liter (Wh/l) in volumetric energy density.

Although solid-state cells can address some of the issues attendant to using Li metal anodes—especially safety and cycle performance—such solid state cells have been difficult to make, and have not been successfully produced in large scale, Sakti3 noted in one of its patent applications.

Dr. Ann Marie Sastry with President Obama at White House Demo Day, August 2015 Click to enlarge.

Sakti3 is developing a thin-film manufacturing process using physical vapor deposition to lay down a cathode barrier, cathode current collector, cathode, electrolyte, anode, anode current collector, and anode barrier over a substrate.

As an example outlined in the patent application, Sakti3 describes using a lithium vanadium oxide cathode with a Li anode, the latter being overlaid with an anode barrier material of Li3PO4.

Our target is to achieve mass production of cells at ~$100/kWh. Our key patents on the technology have been issued, we are up and running on larger tooling, and can now speed up processing. Our first market will be consumer electronics, and after that, we’ll move to other sectors.

—Dr. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Sakti3, in 2014

Dyson’s purchase of Sakti3 comes shortly after Bosch purchased another solid-state battery start-up, Seeo. (Earlier post.)

October 19, 2015 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (6)

Comments

Based on Dyson's superior engineering and quality, it could certainly improved (the already superior) Sakti3 batteries while creating a much bigger worldwide market for them.

Our handheld battery operated Dyson vacuum (stick) is still going strong after 2+ years.

This could be a win-win venture.

Hope that they will quickly expand into the electrified vehicle market.

So far only IP and lab results; both Bosch and Dyson are betting on the future. But, if it works, what a future it can be.

Sakti3 had a product for cell phones, but there is huge competition. This is a good deal, Dyson will keep the company alive long enough for the products to see the light of day.

I get the feeling that some of the 5 years off promises based on academic research may be making it to commercial applications.

Interesting to see the big boys buying up the solid state startups. Must be something to the hype there.

Times are about to get interesting.

Vapor deposition is normally a very costly and slow way of producing anything. They may have found a way to make 1100 Wh/l solid-state state battery but their 100 USD /kwh is aspirational and a pipe dream for the next 10 years with that technology. That is my first thought and looking at Satki3's website just reinforces my belief.

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