Michigan Business Review. Sakti3, the Michigan Li-ion manufacturing battery startup headed by Dr. Ann Marie Sastry (earlier post) will pursue loans to accelerate its commercialization plans from the US Department of Energy’s $2 billion Electric Drive Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative, funded through the Recovery Act.
Sakti3 plans to develop and commercialize an advanced manufacturing method for high-power automotive traction batteries.
Dr. Sastry, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mechanical, Biomedical and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, is also one of the co-directors of the GM/U-M Advanced Battery Coalition for Drivetrains (ABCD), announced by then-CEO Rick Wagoner at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. (Earlier post.)
Among those expected to support Sakti3’s loan bid are Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, US Sen. Carl Levin and Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Greg Main. Sastry’s political backing, strong ties with the clean tech investment community and close relationship with General Motors’ alternative propulsion team could give the firm an edge in securing DOE loans.
In September 2008, Sakti3, which is part of Khosla Ventures’ battery portfolio, received a $3 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to establish a Center of Energy Excellence focused on next-generation lithium battery technologies and processes. As part of that award, the University of Michigan will contribute research on battery lifecycles.
In March 2008, Sakti3 announced plans to invest $1.1 million and to scale up to some 230 jobs in the state by 2018.