Dec 19, 2019

Battery safety startup Amionx lands Stanley Black & Decker as first named customer

Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images

Amionx, a startup trying to make batteries safer, has landed its first named customer in tool maker Stanley Black & Decker, which has licensed Amionx's SafeCore technology.

Why it matters: Batteries are increasingly central to all sorts of digital devices, from phones to electric cars — but because by their nature they compress volatile components into tight spaces, they create risks of fire and explosion.

The bigger picture: Amionx has long-term ambitions of adding its technology to all manner of gear, from electric vehicles to tools to consumer electronics.

How it works: Amionx's technology adds a material to the battery that acts something like an internal fuse that can be triggered whenever a current, voltage or temperature threshold is exceeded. 

  • Amionx is a spin-off of American Lithium Energy Corp. which has used the technology in more than 20,000 batteries for the military. Former Qualcomm president Steve Altman is an investor and president of Amionx's board of directors.

Go deeper: The energy and climate change puzzle

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Electric school buses are batteries for the grid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Utility companies are helping cash-strapped school districts replace diesel buses with electric ones that have a secondary purpose: helping to manage electricity demand.

Why it matters: Electric buses are cleaner, but cost about three times more. Using them for energy storage can help close that cost gap and smooth out energy demand on the electric grid.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

Volkswagen projected to be largest EV manufacturer by end of decade

Data: Wood Mackenzie; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Volkswagen won't meet its electric vehicle targets, but it'll come close enough to become the world's largest EV manufacturer by decade's end, a new analysis finds.

Why it matters: The new projections from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie offer a piece of the puzzle as to how the increasingly competitive EV market will shake out this decade.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020

Rivian hauls in a $1.3 billion fundraising round

Rivian's distinctive R2S electric sport utility. (Photo courtesy of Rivian)

Electric truck startup Rivian capped off a remarkable fundraising year by announcing its largest round yet on Monday — a $1.3 billion investment led by T. Rowe Price, Amazon, Ford and BlackRock.

Why it matters: Rivian's cool-looking pickup truck and SUV prototypes grab attention as potential rivals to Tesla, but it's the automaker's decision to share its underlying technology — a versatile electric "skateboard" chassis — that has investors excited about the company's potential.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019