Climate Tech

EnergyLab is backing these 11 Australian lithium battery startups with plans to change the world

- February 2, 2023 2 MIN READ
Good Car Co, Anton Vikstrom, Anthony Broese van Groenou, Sam Whitehead.
Good Car Co cofounders Anton Vikstrom, Anthony Broese van Groenou, and Sam Whitehead.
Lithium is the new black as demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy batteries grows, so Australia’s largest climate tech startup accelerator EnergyLab, has decided to do something about it, backing 11 startups in the space in a new program

Australia produces 60% of the world’s lithium, but only represents 1% of global product value in the lithium battery value chain, so EnergyLab is looking to move the dial with the inaugural Supercharge Australia Innovation Challenge.

The 11 startups involved (see below) range from developers of novel cell chemistries to electric vehicle upscalers and critical metals recyclers.

The accelerator’s Supercharge Australia initiative aims to drive local lithium battery innovation, matching the startups involved with mentors and experts, and setting them up to pitch in Sydney on March 30. A panel of experts from CSIRO, Boundless, New Energy Nexus, and EnergyLab will then choose an ultimate winner.

Kirk McDonald, Project Manager Supercharge Australia said the 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,” he said.

New Energy Nexus CEO Danny Kennedy said: “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”.

The startups involved 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.