Second time's the charm for Na-ion?

August 14, 2019 | Case Study

In March 2017, Aquion Energy, one of the earliest companies to commercialize aqueous Na-ion battery technology, famously went bankrupt after raising $267 million and garnering praise from the nascent energy storage community. Lux and others credit Aquion Energy's downfall to an expensive, underutilized 200 MWh/year manufacturing line that overcapitalized the company, but conversations with Aquion Energy's former CTO, Tom Madden, paint a more complex picture. While the manufacturing line diverted financial resources, it also diverted research resources; effort that should have been spent increasing power density to compete against falling Li-ion battery costs was instead put toward scaling up processes from development scale to manufacturing volumes. The result was an uncompetitive product, and Aquion Energy's remaining assets were purchased, but to date uncommercialized, by Titans Group. 

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