Electrovaya [TSE:EFL] is a maker of lithium-ion batteries with an emphasis on a safer, and more stable solution. Such technology comes to the fore when we consider its use in, for example, the public transport market. In this week’s podcast we spoke to Raj DasGupta, CEO of Electrovaya, about the competitive edge he believes his company already has in a very fast-growing market.
The company owns the proprietary Infinity platform, which is used to develop customised battery solutions. The emphasis here is on durability, the production of reliable batteries which can combine power with a very high level of safety. A good example of their use is in the electric vehicles employed in larger warehouses, where companies need rapid charging and don’t want to have to keep replacing batteries.
Safety and density are at the core of the company’s approach to energy storage as well. It has been working with clients in busy urban centres – e.g. universities – to help them install and operate larger batteries which can provide on-site energy storage.
Electrovaya also has a proprietary approach to solid state batteries using industry-leading energy density with a lithium metal anode, high performance NMC cathode and proprietary solid composite electrolyte. This is designed for mass-production and draws on a cost-effective, sustainable manufacturing process.
According to Shawn Severson, who looks after climate tech and sustainable investing at Water Tower Research in Canada, “Lithium-ion batteries are gaining increased importance due to higher energy efficiency, longer life span, and higher density. As a result, LIBs are fidning growing applications in industrial vehicles, like forklifts, lift trucks, ground support applications, electric vehicles, stationary energy storage and consumer electronics, among others, with Electrovaya well positioned to leverage this megatrend.”
Battery safety is increasingly coming to the fore. Two major companies had multi-billion dollar recalls last year due to battery safety. One of Electrovaya’s main selling points is the high degree of safety offered by its ceramic components – look at the the pristine safety record of its Daimler e-Smart cars batteries.
Electrovaya reckons that its battery is a ‘million mile’ item, enabling e-vehicles to work very long hours, sometimes even 24 hours a day. Feedback from companies that already use the technology, like Walmart for instance, indicates that the Electrovaya batteries are very robust indeed.
Electrovaya is very focused on the commercial vehicle segment at the moment; this includes the up to 2m e-lift trucks that will be operating in the US market soon. The company is after around 10% of the massive electric forklift sector, which will require around 20,000 batteries. This is part of its pivot away from the private car market towards what it considers to be the more valuable commercial vehicle market.
It is increasingly looking like 2022 will be a pivotal year for Electrovaya, as it anticipates around CAD 27m in revenue with a positive EBITDA. More and more companies are planning to replace the lead-acid batteries in their vehicles with electric ones. Taking just one example, Raymond/Toyota Material Handling has a minimum purchase requirement in place of CAD 15m to maintain its exclusivity with Electrovaya.
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