Thai energy giant Bangchak invests in California’s EV battery firm

Photo: Enevate

Thailand’s alternative energy giant Bangchak Corporation Pcl has invested an undisclosed amount in California-based innovative battery technology developer Enevate Corp, according to an announcement.

The investment has been made through Bangchak Initiative and Innovation Center (BiiC), which earlier had said that it would allocate a budget of over 300 million baht ($9.5 million) to invest in startups globally.

“With this investment, Bangchak becomes an important partner in our mission to provide advanced battery technology that will help drive the growth of global EV markets with as little as five-minute charging times,” said Enevate CEO Robert A. Rango.

Enevate Corp develops and licenses advanced silicon-dominant Li-ion battery technology that seeks to break down barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption. It claims its Li-ion batteries are able to charge 10 times faster than current conventional batteries.

“Bangchak’s investment in Enevate reflects our mission to seed innovative technologies and support continuous development of solutions in pursuit of environmental stewardship and sustainability in the energy business,” said Bangchak Corp president and CEO Chaiwat Kovavisarach.

Enevate previously secured funding from several investors including Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (Alliance Ventures), LG Chem, Samsung, Mission Ventures and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, among others.

In line with the government’s “Thailand 4.0” policy, Bangchak Corp launched BiiC in 2017 to nurture and invest in startups by focussing on sustainable energy technology and bio-based technology. It also partnered with Plug and Play, a startup accelerator in Silicon Valley, so that it can monitor and incorporate new technologies that can help meet its target. 

Till date, BiiC has invested in four startups in the United States, which includes the latest investment in Enevate. Its earlier investments include California-based biodesign firm Geltor, electric wind turbine maker Semtive and Virginia-based rare sugar tagatose developer Bonumose.

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