29.1 C
Los Angeles
Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ilya Sutskever Isn’t Done Working on AI Safety

Ilya Sutskever, the co-founder and Chief Scientist...

Porsche Ventures Backs Battery Startup South 8 to Enhance Cold-Weather EV Performance

BusinessPorsche Ventures Backs Battery Startup South 8 to Enhance Cold-Weather EV Performance

As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain traction, one persistent challenge remains: cold-weather performance. Now, a pioneering startup, South 8 Technologies, is tackling this issue head-on with a groundbreaking solution aimed at revolutionizing EV battery technology.

South 8’s innovative approach involves replacing traditional liquid electrolytes in batteries with a pressurized, liquefied gas electrolyte. This novel technique not only promises to improve cold-weather charging reliability but also aims to slash lithium-ion battery costs by an impressive 30%.

The significance of this advancement cannot be overstated, particularly for automakers, as battery expenses typically account for a substantial portion of a vehicle’s total cost. CEO Tom Stepien highlighted this, emphasizing that the battery represents about a third of the entire car’s cost.

Key to South 8’s breakthrough is its LiGas technology, which leverages a pressurized gas—commonly used as a refrigerant—to maintain battery performance even in subzero temperatures. The company claims that its approach can retain 75% of energy capacity at temperatures as low as -40 degrees Celsius, a feat unmatched by traditional liquid electrolytes.

Porsche Ventures, the investment arm of Porsche, recently joined a host of backers in supporting South 8’s mission. While the exact investment amount remains undisclosed, Porsche Ventures’ interest underscores the importance of cold-weather performance for EV manufacturers.

South 8’s journey began with research at UC San Diego and has since garnered support from notable investors such as LG, Anzu Partners, and Lockheed. The startup’s technology has the potential to reshape the EV landscape, offering automakers a compelling solution to a persistent challenge.

However, South 8’s path forward is not without obstacles. Adapting its technology to cylindrical battery cells poses manufacturing challenges, requiring specialized equipment and design modifications. Yet, the promise of substantial cost savings and improved production efficiency makes South 8’s approach compelling.

Moreover, the environmental implications of South 8’s technology are significant. While the pressurized gas electrolyte presents challenges for battery recyclers, its potential to reduce overall EV battery usage could ultimately benefit the climate.

As South 8 embarks on its Series B fundraising round, backed by Porsche Ventures and other strategic investors, the startup’s journey reflects the intersection of innovation, sustainability, and automotive technology. With EV adoption on the rise, South 8’s pioneering efforts could pave the way for a new era of cold-weather EV performance, driving the industry towards a more sustainable future.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles