October 4, 2018: Dyson, the UK vacuum cleaner company that expanded into the energy storage market, will continue developing solid-state lithium ion technology despite writing off £46 million ($60.5million) on Sakti3, the US battery firm it bought for $90 million in 2015.
The cash was brushed off by a Dyson spokesman as ‘prudent accounting’ and as a reflection of the evolving nature of solid-state technology.
Dyson has pledged to continue work on solid-state batteries, but the company’s change in investment indicates the technology has evolved from what it originally bought.
The spokesman told ESJ: “Dyson’s investment in battery technology is growing, and this international research programme is quickly gaining momentum.
“The technology — both solid state and other forms — is advancing quickly and this [writing off of cash] represents nothing more than prudent accounting.”
In 2017 Dyson announced a £1 billion commitment to energy storage research and it now has multiple competing technologies in-house, said a Dyson spokesman
Dyson gave up the rights to Sakti3’s technology portfolio — which cost the company $200,000 a year from the University of Michigan, where Sakti3 spun out from — early last year.
On February 28, solid-state lithium ion firm Ionic Materials announced Dyson — as well as South Korean industrial giant Samsung — had invested in the Massachusetts, US, start up.
Others in the $65 million investment round included China’s A123 Systems, Japan’s Hitachi and vehicle OEM’s Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi.
In April, Ionic announced that Total, the French power company that bought nickel-based and lithium ion battery maker Saft for $1 billion in 2016, had also invested an undisclosed amount in the firm.