Another grid battery startup files for bankruptcy protection

August 21, 2017 //By Nick Flaherty
Another grid battery startup files for bankruptcy protection
Swiss lithium ion battery startup Alevo has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.

The company was founded in Switzerland and was developing grid scale batteries based on a sulphur lithium chemistry with a large manufacturing plant in Charlotte, North Carolina for its GridBank system. The technology was acquired from German company fortu Powercell in 2014 and the first commercial system shipped in January 2017.

“Despite demonstrating the advantages of its groundbreaking battery technology, Alevo Manufacturing has had significant production challenges and thus insufficient revenue to continue operations,” said Peter Heintzelman, chief financial officer of the Alevo entities. “The Alevo entities have actively sought new funding sources to finance their operations and growth strategies. Unfortunately, despite best efforts, the funding has not been realized in time to permit continued operations.”

“The chapter 11 filings are a very difficult, but necessary decision”, he said. “This decision was driven by the formidable challenges of bringing a new technology into commercial production and lacking the financial wherewithal to continue on through repeated manufacturing delays. It is a sad day for our dedicated employees and partners, as well as for the promise of Alevo’s technology.”

This follows the collapse of Aquion Energy, a US developer and manufacturer of grid scale saltwater flow batteries, which re-launched earlier this month after receiving new investment from a Chinese-backed fund.  The company had raised over $162m in five rounds of funding from 17 investors, with the most recent round of $33m in April last year. But the company collapsed just a few months later and the new owner paid $9.16m for the assets of the company, beating Austrian battery company BlueSky Energy.

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