Who's the 'Stealth Mode' Battery Start-Up in Kleiner-Perkins Portfolio?

John Doerr tells Senate Committee about unnamed startup that 'creates stable, durable lithium ion batteries with higher effective storage capacity.'

Published: 09-Jan-2009

John Doerr, the prominent cleantech venture capitalist for Kleiner Perkins, gave his standard earnest speech before a Senate Committee hearing on how greentech investing can spur the economy on Wednesday morning. As per usual, he first chided the U.S. for not doing enough to cut carbon emissions and invest in cleantech, and then laid out his broad plan on what to do next.

But for industry-watchers interested in Kleiner’s portfolio, it’s worth pointing out that Doerr mentioned a new “stealth mode” lithium-ion battery maker. He says the unnamed startup “creates stable, durable lithium ion batteries with higher effective storage capacity” that can power electric vehicles “twice as far, and eventually three times as far, to over 100 miles before recharging.”

Doerr also gave a few clues on the company’s origins and future plans — supposedly the startup was found “outside the U.S.,” but is building manufacturing plants in the Midwest and will ship batteries at the end of the year. Doerr positioned the company as no less than an automotive breakthrough and said: “This technology could be a key driver for the electrification and revitalization of our automotive industry, helping us retain and create many jobs.”


The battery system was developed by CSIRO in Australia, built by the Furukawa Battery Company of Japan and tested in the United Kingdom through the American-based Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

The new batteries will make the GM Hybrid System nearly three times more powerful than the system it replaces. Pictured is 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line with Two-mode hybrid drive.

Dramatic developments in stored-power technology make electric cars more viable than ever. Pictures is Th!nk Global's new Ox crossover vehicle.


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