Europe invests in Estonian ultracapacitor pioneer

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

The funds are described variously as a loan and as “quasi-equity” funding. The EIB loan is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and brings the amount raise by Skeleton to €41.7 million (about $44 million) since the company was founded in 2009.

Whether a repayable loan or equity funding the money will be used to finance R&D for the further development of its products and systems and pursue global markets. Skeleton already includes the European Space Agency and German automotive manufacturers among its customers.

Ultracapacitors are capable of rapid charging and discharging in a matter of seconds and are able to provide over 1 million charge/discharge cycles that offer benefits in industries where reliable, instant power is a necessity. Batteries, conventionally used in automobiles, provide slower charging and slower energy release.

Skeleton aims to reach an energy density target of 20 Wh/kg by 2020 and claims its ultracapacitors deliver twice the energy density and four times the power density of competitor offerings.

The company plans to invest in manufacturing to increase its competitive advantage on a component level. In particular, Skeleton plans to open an electrode manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany. This will create employment locally, in line with the objectives of the Investment Plan for Europe

“Given Skeleton’s cutting-edge technology and the eco-friendliness of its products, it’s only logical that EIB supports such European innovators,” said Jan Vapaavuori, vice president of the EIB

“We want to see innovative companies startup, scaleup and flourish here in Europe, That’s why I am delighted that Skeleton can benefit from the support of the EFSI as it takes its exciting next steps,” said Andrus Ansip, European Commission vice president.

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