Relectrify seeks to scale up operations with backing of Toyota Ventures

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Having proven its cell-level battery control technology via repurposing second-life electrical vehicle (EV) batteries, Relectrify will seek to accelerate the global adoption of its technology by manufacturers of energy storage systems in residential, commercial and industrial, and grid applications after recently closing a round of growth funding.

The funding round was led by Toyota Ventures, the almost $220 million (USD 150 million) investment arm of the world’s biggest car maker. US-based deep tech venture firm Creative Ventures also joined Relectrify as a new investor while existing shareholders, including the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the venture arms of South Korean industrial company GS and European power company EDP continued their support for Relectrify’s technology.

Melbourne-based Relectrify has developed battery technology that combines granular cell-level control software with a novel integrated battery management system (BMS) and inverter hardware solution. The patented hybrid system replaces conventional BMS and inverters with a single electronic solution that controls individual cells to generate grid-compliant alternating current (AC) directly from a battery pack.

The company said the technology revolutionises battery storage, increasing the cycle life of a lithium-ion battery by as much as a third, and reducing power electronic costs by up to 30% compared to traditional battery systems.

Having previously proven its technology in its own ReVolve battery energy storage product – which combines the BMS+Inverter technology with nine second-life EV batteries to store over 120 kWh of energy – Relectify plans to scale up operations by working with partners to integrate its electronics components and co-develop products via licensing agreements.

“Our team at Relectrify is helping the world transition to renewable energy by making battery energy storage a more compelling commercial proposition,” Relectrify Chief Executive Officer Valentin Muenzel said.

“We are excited to be joined by Toyota Ventures and Creative Ventures as we move into high-volume battery storage systems including using non-lithium and particularly new Li-ion cells.”

Relectrify’s technology, which can be used across residential, industrial and grid storage, using either new or second-life batteries, has already been demonstrated in numerous technical pilots projects around the world, including with major US utility American Electric Power, Nissan North America and New Zealand-based electricity provider Counties Energy.

Toyota Ventures Climate Fund Partner Lisa Coca said the technology has the potential to unlock significant cost, lifetime, safety and resilience benefits for battery systems, whether they are repurposed EV batteries or new stationary energy storage systems.

“Robust energy storage solutions are key to reaching net zero,” she said.  “We look forward to supporting the team as they contribute to decarbonization by reinventing the battery management system and inverter technology.”

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