Standard Energy, a vanadium ion battery developer, announced today it has raised an $8.9 million Series C from SoftBank Ventures Asia. The South Korea-based company says its batteries’ advantages over lithium-ion include less risk of ignition and the ease of sourcing vanadium. The latter is an important selling point, as electric vehicle makers face a potential shortage of lithium-ion batteries.
Instead of serving as a replacement for lithium ion batteries, however, Standard Energy chief executive officer Bu Gi Kim said they complement each other. Vanadium ion batteries have high energy, performance and safety, but they are not as compact as lithium ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries will continue to be used in hardware that needs to be mobile, such as electric vehicles or consumer devices like smartphones, but vanadium ion batteries are suited to “stationary” customers, like wind and solar power plants or ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles (Kim said Standard Energy is scheduled to ship its batteries to an ultra-fast charging station in Seoul soon).