In September 2018 Patrick Soon-Shiong was interviewed on CNBC and declared "I think zinc is the new lithium." Patrick Soon-Shiong, the Los Angeles based billionaire and CEO of the Nant group of companies (which includes the Los Angeles Times), had recently purchased Fluidic Energy. Before it was acquired, Arizona-based Fluidic raised north of $150M and spent over a decade developing zinc-air stationary storage batteries. Fluidic was one of a very small number of players in the zinc-air space, and the company is now known as NantEnergy. Click here to watch the CNBC interview with Patrick Soon-Shiong. At AZA, we love that Patrick Soon-Shiong is an advocate for and invested in zinc-air technology.
In October 2018 Bloomberg published this story on the popularity and growth of e-rickshaws in India. There are currently 1.5 million which have replaced fossil-fuel powered tuk tuks and eleven thousand are added each month. These e-ricks currently run primarily on on lead acid batteries and represent a great opportunity for the AZA Battery which is cheaper, greener and safer than other options. India is also home to the largest zinc mine on earth...which certainly could help tilt things in favor of zinc. If you don't feel like reading the article you can check out Bloomberg's one minute video here.
In September 2019 Cathy Bussewitz published this story in the San Francisco Chronicle about Nant Energy's claim that their zinc-air battery system can deliver power at $100 per kilowatt hour--which is cheaper than lead-acid and dramatically cheaper than lithium-ion which is in the $225-$500 range. Jay Whitacre, director of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, said he had not seen or analysed the NantEnergy data but said, “If this is true, it would be great. If these guys even get close to this price point of $100 per kilowatt hour it is exciting and disruptive...if you can get to that, what you end up with is a technology that is really economical and can be used in many ways.” The AZA Battery cost per kilowatt hour, when produced at scale, is projected at $35.
In August 2018 Fortune India published this article on the pressure to transition to electronic vehicles in India. Home to 14 of the thirty most polluted cities in the world, the Indian government points the finger at uncontrolled vehicle pollution. No doubt, this will present a major opportunity in the next few decades.
=> Article's extracts on the following page.