Federal Transit Administration Has Awarded $6.7B in Recovery Act Funds To Nearly 600 Transit Providers
Toyota to Unveil Three Hybrid Concepts at Frankfurt: Auris HSD Full Hybrid Concept, Plug-in Prius Concept, Lexus LF-Ch Full Hybrid Concept

Zinc-Air Battery Company ReVolt Applying for $30M in Recovery Act Funds; Targeting EV Applications

ReVolt Technology, LLC, a spin-off from Norway’s SINTEF that is developing rechargeable zinc-air batteries (earlier post), is applying for $30 million in grants from US Department of Energy (DOE) under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to accelerate the commercialization of large format zinc-air batteries for energy storage and electric vehicle applications.

ReVolt’s initial plans called for addressing the mobile consumer electronics market first. Revolt’s zinc-air technology offers up to three times the energy density on a volumetric basis and twice on a gravimetric basis of lithium-ion, according to the company.

ReVolt, based in Stäfa, Switzerland, has selected Portland, Oregon as the location for its US headquarters and manufacturing center. By locating in Oregon, the company will be eligible, and intends to apply for, Business Energy Tax Credits from the Oregon Department of Energy for battery research and production. Securing government grants and tax credits will allow ReVolt to significantly accelerate its operations in Portland and US expansion, the company says.

In July, ReVolt and BASF entered a joint-development agreement to speed the development and commercialization of ReVolt’s rechargeable zinc-air battery system. (Earlier post.) Under that agreement, BASF will use its expertise in material science as well as electrochemistry to further advance the technology. BASF will supply key component materials and jointly developed subsystem elements necessary for the continued development and commercialization of ReVolt’s rechargeable zinc-air batteries.

In January 2009, RWE Innogy, the renewable power generation arm of Germany-based RWE Group, invested €5.5 million in ReVolt. The RWE investment was part of a €10 million Series B round that included current investors NorthZone Ventures (Sweden), SINTEF (Norway), Sofinnova Partners (France), TVM Capital (Germany), Verdane Capital (Norway) and Viking Venture (Norway).

ReVolt’s battery technology is a result of six years of research and development at SINTEF (the largest independent research institute in Scandinavia). Research on material combinations has addressed issues historically related to the metal-air technology: power, lifetime and rechargeability.

ReVolt’s technology developments include placement of the zinc (microscopic localization) on the anode; humidity management in the cell; and a bi-functional air-electrode. In a bi-functional air electrode, both the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions occur.



So...this is interesting. On the one hand, Zinc is far more plentiful than Lithium (we could just melt pennies), and the volumetric and gravimetric density potential should get an EV to 350+ Miles per recharge, maybe at a reasonable cost. It's not a crazy strategy to start with that potential advantage, and see if you can fix all the durability, power, and rate of recharge problems.

On the other hand, this will have to outshine LiFeO4 chemistries which started out with durability advantages, and tried to bring up to snuff the gravimetric and volumetric energy density to get the range. That's BYD's approach, and MIT and others seem to be finding ways to charge them much faster, and perhaps get the 350+ mile range coming from that direction.

Given the anticipated constraints on Lithium supplies and rare earth metals, maybe both approaches have to succeed, but which would you bet on succeeding first? LiFeO4, right?


"ReVolt’s initial plans called for addressing the mobile consumer electronics market first ..."

I'd like one of these in my laptop please. The sooner the better.


"Given the anticipated constraints on Lithium supplies"

Don't worry about lithium supplies; http://evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1434

Henry Gibson

If its not lithium, it won't sell. Zinc has been used for many years but people want the danger of lithium burning up because they think that lithium has more energy, and it does, but not when it is put into a package with many different elements. Cars with a long range electric battery are not economical. Cars just sit mot of the time, and a short range lead battery will work with a range extender as TZERO proved years ago. Firefly and others are making lead batteries more effective. ZEBRA batteries could even outlast a car and be used for House-to-Grid for decades. There might even be hundred year old EDISON batteries that still work. Modern construction might even make Edison batteries with more power and lighter weight. ..HG..

Nat Pearre

Henry: "Cars with a long range electric battery are not economical."

This is exactly the point that may cease to be the case. Zink-air batteries have the potential to deliver vastly greater kWh/$, and so make highway EV travel very reasonable. If the issues mentioned in the article can be worked out, and you could buy a 50kWh battery for a little more money, similar size and similar weight vs. a 10kWh ZEBRA or Firefly battery, wouldn't you?


"Cars with a long range electric battery are not economical"

Henry Gibson you are one of this people that Elon Musk was mentionning they don't understand that there is no battery technology that offers to day both a high power and a high energy density, consequently a range extander is not a good solution because the battery will be too small and either the performance in electric mode only will be very poor or the battery will have a very short life time.

So please a bit more moderation, Tesla has proven that an all electric car can work, the Volts is yet to be proven...

Asides if Zn/air battery work, people will use them I garantee you. Who cares if it is Lithium or whatever as long as it works. The main issue of this approach it the limited number of cycles, apprently these guys are confident in their technology since they claim it might work for EV. Futur will tell


"Offers up to three times the energy density on a volumetric basis and twice on a gravimetric basis of lithium-ion"

Offers? . Offers? Means anywhere from "likely" to "you can't prove it won't"

And then "according to the company." Ahh, of course.

All avenues to reduce the outpouring of petrol dollars should be pursued.

"ReVolt, based in Stäfa, Switzerland."
Oh, so um these are “battery” dollars; or actually “hope” dollars. OK then.

"with US headquarters located in Portland, Oregon
(at least one receptionist and a PO box).

"to be eligible for Business Energy Tax Credits from Oregon and US tax credits and securing government grants under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act

I see the letters "US", like "US Recovery act".
"Current investors are NorthZone Ventures (Sweden), SINTEF (Norway), Sofinnova Partners (France), TVM Capital (Germany), Verdane Capital (Norway) and Viking Venture (Norway).

And ME.

NO wait; I am just giving them my money.
Do I get a receipt? Sure.

Do we get oversight?
Ha Ha Ha.

Does any of this money come back to me?

Maybe - if my initials are DNC.

Thomas Lankester

I think that it is good to have serious alternative battery tech contenders and chemistries. My (rather shallow) problem is with the name. ReVolt. These chaps need to up the ante on the old marketing front. ReVolting EVs or plug-in conversions are not going to appeal to the masses.

Clint LeRoy

One companys solution is an ultra-capcitor called the EEStor:


Will an affordable EEStor unit come to the market sooner than a rechargeable Zinc-Air battery?

There is nothing basically wrong with various competing technologies.

Ultimately, quick charge, long lasting, compact, ultra-caps are very appealing.

The comments to this entry are closed.