Volta Energy joins the fray in battle for battery technologies

Date: Jan 12, 2018
Over the past decade plenty of investors have been burnt trying to pick the battery technology that will power the era of electric cars. Jeff Chamberlain reckons the stakes are even higher.

For a decade, the 52-year-old played a pivotal role managing battery research at the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, the US government’s top laboratory for the technology.Now, Mr Chamberlain has swapped public service for the private sector in an effort to ensure the US stays competitive in the fast-changing field of energy storage and battery technologies that China is pouring resources into.

Mr Chamberlain is now running Volta Energy Technologies. Backed by Albemarle, one of the world’s largest lithium producers, and US utility Exelon, the fund’s ambition is to invest in those companies whose battery technologies will triumph in the global battle to dominate electric cars and energy storage. The global supply of batteries for electric cars and energy storage is expected to more than double by 2020, according to analysts at Bernstein.

“We have to compete with that [China] as an American society, with that different culture of government money,” Mr Chamberlain said. “I’m not saying we need to do that, but we need to compete. We believe we’ve found the model to do that.”

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