Eleven Australian lithium battery start-ups and innovators will receive hyper-accelerated business support, helping build Australia’s role in the global US$400 billion lithium battery market
Australia’s lithium battery value chain – currently only representing 1% of global product value despite the nation producing 60% of the world’s lithium – is about to get a major boost through support to eleven startups that are participating in the inaugural Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge.
The Challenge is an initiative of Supercharge Australia, which aims to drive local lithium battery innovation to capture more of the value chain in Australia. Startups will be matched with mentors and experts, receive pitch coaching and collaborate with each other to bolster a vibrant national battery ecosystem. Winners will be announced at a gala event in Sydney on March 30.
The 11 startups in the Challenge range from developers of novel cell chemistries to electric vehicle upscalers and critical metals recyclers. Competitively selected and to be judged by an expert panel from CSIRO, Boundless, New Energy Nexus, and Australia and New Zealand’s largest climate tech startup accelerator EnergyLab, they are:
- EV FireSafe for Business, co-founded by two experienced firefighters, which provides electric vehicle (EV) fire and safety knowledge for everyone working with electrified transport;
- Geelong-based FARSTE DRIVE which has developed a cost-effective hub motor to counter EV motor inefficiency and allow internal combustion engine vehicles to be converted to EVs cheaply and efficiently;
- Sydney-based Gelion, a battery storage innovator developing new lithium sulfur and lithium-silicon-sulfur technologies to improve performance, cost and safety for next generation battery applications;
- The Good Car Company, founded in Hobart, which provides affordable EVs through bulk-buys, direct sales and subscription. They import new and second-hand EVs to help drive a second-hand EV market in Australia and can upcycle EVs with newer batteries and enhanced functionality to allow bidirectional charging;
- Prohelion, founded in Brisbane, which designs and sells battery monitoring systems, bespoke lightweight high-power battery solutions, accessories, monitoring and consulting services;
- Renewable Metals, based in Perth, which recycles lithium batteries using a novel technology recovering six critical metals - lithium, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese, and graphite - from end-of-life batteries minimising waste by-products;
- Roev, which converts large fleets of utes to electric, solving unmet demand and managing energy usage;
- Sicona Battery Technologies which uses a University of Wollongong-developed technology to produce next gen battery materials technology used in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries for electric-mobility and storage of renewable energy;
- Brisbane-based Sustainable Lithium Cells Australia, which enables lithium battery recycling and reduces the carbon footprint of lithium battery construction by extracting value from old batteries and providing a cost-effective supply of good condition second-life cells for use in e-mobility and energy projects;
- The Australian National University’s Syenta which makes multi-material additive manufacturing devices for electronics such as solar cells, batteries, sensors, and circuit boards with high resolution and high speed; and,
- Brisbane-based Vaulta, making recyclable and repairable high-performance batteries.
Supercharge Australia will bring the industry together to understand where innovation is required and leverage New Energy Nexus’ global expertise, including its role in the US Department of Energy’s Lithium Bridge project to accelerate the development of a robust and secure domestic supply chain for lithium-based batteries. This will be supported by EnergyLab’s extensive innovation network in Australia connecting the startups with the mentors, advisors, peers and investors they need to succeed.
“Australian innovators are uniquely placed to supply emerging and mature global markets with low impact lithium products and resources to support our energy transition with better batteries,” said Danny Kennedy, CEO New Energy Nexus.
“This Supercharge Australia startup cohort is the vanguard of a decarbonised export powerhouse for our region and the world. Australia is now understanding the vast opportunities that its mineral and renewable energy endowment offers, and the decarbonisation responsibilities it demands,” said Kirk McDonald, Project Manager Supercharge Australia.
“We are looking forward to supporting these innovative founders with our networks and mentors to build a strong, supercharged ecosystem in Australia,” said Kate Neary, Programs Manager EnergyLab.
“EnergyLab is proud to bring its Australian climate tech innovation network to supporting founders in the lithium battery value chain,” said Megan Fisher, CEO EnergyLab.
“We’re excited to be offering a focused program for the first time in this part of the clean energy ecosystem, supporting this amazing cohort of 11 startups on their journey to success.
If you would like more information or to connect with any of the startups from the Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge, contact the program manager, Kate Neary.
For any enquires related to Supercharge Australia, please contact project manager, Kirk McDonald.