Dyson, the manufacturer of high-tech vacuum cleaners and restroom hand dryers, has acquired Michigan startup Sakti3 for $90 million in cash, as reported byÂ Quartz. Founder and CEO Ann Marie Sastry will oversee development of her companyâ€™s solid-state battery technology as an executive for Dyson.
UK-based Dyson, which invested $15 million in Sakti3 last March, also plans to build a new battery production plant, with an investment of up to $1 billion.
The EV community has followed Sakti3 closely â€“ in August 2014, CEO Ann Marie Sastry told Scientific American that the companyâ€™s prototype solid-state battery cells had achieved energy density of 1,143 Watt-hours per liter â€“ more than double that of todayâ€™s best lithium-ion batteries. GM Ventures invested a chunk of change in the company in September 2010, and some speculated that Sakti3 was a contender to provide batteries for GMâ€™s upcoming 200-mile EV.
Solid-state tech was in the news again recently, as auto parts giant Bosch bought Seeo, another solid-state battery startup.
Is all of Sakti3â€™s pioneering work really going to end up as a way to improve battery life in cordless vacuums? Neither Sastry nor Dyson CEO James Dyson would comment on speculation about future plans to provide batteries for EVs, but Dyson did say that heâ€™s not ruling out the possibility that Sakti3â€™s technology could be licensed to other companies.
â€œWe are very fortunate indeed to join and become a contributor to not only Dyson, but hopefully help get solid-state battery technology out into commercial products much, much more quickly and efficiently,â€ said Sastry. â€œWhere this will take us isnâ€™t yet something we can comment on, but it is sure to be exciting.â€