US startup ZAF Energy Systems has raised $22m to commercialise its nickel-zinc battery technology and expand its manufacturing capacity.
ZAF sees its NiZn battery technology used in large-scale storage in data centres, telecommunications, healthcare, and commercial trucking industries. The company is also working with three segments of the US Department of the Defense on energy storage solutions that where the NiZn batteries provide significant performance enhancements over current solutions. Funding will further enable ZAF to accelerate licensing and joint venture negotiations and to commercialize NiZn batteries with both domestic and international strategic partners.
The Series A round was backed by Élevage Capital Management, Catalus Capital, Holt Ventures, and Coventry Asset Management. The companty was founded in 2011 and has sites in Montana and Missouri. It has developments on both nickel-zinc battery technology and zinc air.
NiZn battery technology can be a replacement for lead-acid batteries in key market segments, reducing the footprint of lead acid data centre UPS systems by 40 percent. The NiZn technology lasts over twice as long as lead acid, reducing the number of batteries consumed by up to 75 percent. The NiZn battery also yields twice the energy density of lead-acid batteries at less than a quarter of the cost, making them smaller, lighter and less expensive.
“I look for innovative products that match with industry-changing trends. My belief is that ZAF’s environmentally friendly batteries are going to change the way the industry looks at cost effective energy storage. For far too long energy storage has been the “Achilles Heel” of the energy industry. I am excited to be a part of this ground-breaking technology,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO of Coventry Asset Management.
Meg Paulus, Partner at Holt Ventures, commented, “We at Holt Ventures focus on investments that have the potential to disrupt the current way of doing things within the heavy equipment landscape, including at our own Caterpillar dealership. We constantly look for ways that our businesses can be more environmentally friendly and at the same time focus on profitability and efficiency. The nickel zinc battery not only out-performs the lead acid battery exponentially, it provides an eco-friendly alternative to an environmental problem experienced around the globe, while still providing vastly superior energy storage capacity for our future needs”