Paging Elon Musk…
SimpliPhi is a company based in Oxnard, California that is trying to tackle the problem of making a clean battery to store power. The company makes what it calls “clean, safe lithium-ion batteries, free of cobalt, the toxic element that can lead batteries to overheat and catch fire.”
The company’s power systems use lithium iron phosphate (LFP), which is a compound that doesn’t carry the risks of traditional lithium ion batteries, according to Bloomberg. Companies like Blue Planet Energy and Sonnen are also using the LFP technology to make safer batteries.
ClintoSimpliPhi’s batteries have already been adopted by groups like the n Foundation, who has installed their batteries, management software and other tools in hospitals and clinics on Puerto Rico after it was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. The model is also working for California homeowners and businesses that are dealing with persistent blackouts as a result of the state’s ongoing wildfires.
Each of these companies is also competing with Tesla and other battery makers to play a larger role in shifting energy away from fossil fuels.
Lithium ion batteries are a decades old technology and are considered crucial to widespread adoption of green energy, like wind and solar, because the electricity generated needs to be stored somewhere. Energy storage worldwide is expected to “multiply exponentially” over the next 20 years, necessitating $662 billion in investments. The market today relies on cobalt chemistries, but the LFP compound is increasing in its market share.
Even better yet is the fact that SimpliPhi hasn’t burned through hundreds of millions of dollars, like every other startup company. It has been profitable since 2013 and has been doubling or tripling revenue annually. It expects to do $20 million in revenue in 2019. Its systems – tens of thousands of them – have been deployed in more than 40 countries. All of its employees are part-owners.
Electrical engineer Josh Crosby, president of power-system consulting firm CatalystE in Huntsville, Ala., has been using SimpliPhi’s batteries in projects for the U.S. military since 2014. He said:
“Their safety track record, efficiency, and price—two to three times less than what military battery makers charge—led [me] to SimpliPhi. Its batteries have been tested at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. Cobalt is more energy-dense and lighter, but it’s not going to last as long, and you have an inherent risk of fire.”
Catherine Von Burg, SimpliPhi’s co-founder said:
“How can we talk about clean energy if we’re using a chemistry that is fundamentally hazardous and toxic?”
That’s a great question: maybe someone should ask Elon Musk.
Recall, it was only days ago we wrote about one Tesla owner not being able to dispose of his wrecked vehicle as a result of the toxins in its battery.