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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dyson acquires Sakti3 for $90M plans $1 Billion battery factory

Dyson, the U.K. company famous for its bagless vacuum cleaners, has acquired Michigan-based solid-state battery startup Sakti3 for $90 million and announced plans to build an important $1 billion battery factory to mass produce the next generation battery technology.

This is the second important solid-state battery technology acquisition in a short period of time – Bosch recently bought Seeo Inc. to bring their battery technology to market. Solid-state batteries are thought to be a lot safer than common li-ion cells and could have more potential for higher energy density, but we have yet to see a company capable of producing it in large-scale and at an attractive price point.

Sakti3 made the headlines last year when it announced that it had produced a solid-state battery cell with 400 Wh/kg energy density, compared to Tesla’s cells believed to be around 230 Wh/kg.

Dyson had already invested $15 million in Sakti3 before now buying the company.

Founder and CEO Ann Marie Sastry will join Dyson as an executive and lead development of her battery technology for the company. When she first unveiled her technology and was trying to attract investors, Sastry said that the company’s solid-state cells aimed at the electric vehicle industry.

Dyson says that they remain open at licensing the technology and the cells could eventually find their way into electric cars, but for now the plan is to integrate the technology into Dyson’s cordless vacuum cleaners. The company expects to start producing its systems with the new batteries within a year or two.

“If we are to continue to create new and disruptive technology we must develop more advanced core technologies,” said Dyson founder James Dyson. “We have invested nearly $310 million into the research and development of the Dyson digital motor, a technology that now powers our most successful machines. We will do the same with batteries. Sakti3 has developed a breakthrough in battery technology, and together we will make this technology a reality.”

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