VW Group selects Relectrify as a global startup collaborator


With a target of 2-3 million electric cars sold annually by 2025, and a recently announced plan to offer electric versions of all 300 vehicle models by 2030, the Volkswagen Group - which includes brands VW, Audi, Porsche, SEAT, and joint ventures with SAIC, JAC, among others - is swiftly becoming one of the key movers in future electric mobility.

It is therefore all the more exciting that VW Group has selected Relectrify as one of five global deep-technology startups to join the group's Munich-based VW Data:Lab for its Startup Collaboration Program. Under the program, Volkswagen provides €30,000 funding to accelerate collaborations between Relectrify and VW group companies on topics relating to advanced battery management systems and battery data analytics. Relectrify Co-Founder Valentin Muenzel will lead Relectrify involvement on-ground and is based in Europe from October until January.


VW Startup Collaboration Space's project manager Dr. Zach Izham stated that "Bringing Relectrify into the VW Startup Collaboration was a 'no-brainer'."

"With the number of electric cars that will be produced," he says, "there simply needs to be a strategy for what happens with batteries subsequently. Relectrify provides a viable solution for battery second life." 

Relectrify Co-Founder Valentin Muenzel and VW's André Radon discussing the joint collaboration with VW Group CIO Martin Hofmann. 

Relectrify closes $1.5m Pre-A Raising including from CEFC

Relectrify is pleased to announce it has closed its $1.5 million pre-Series A equity raising from the Australian Government's Clean Energy Innovation Fund (CEIF) and individual investors John Clifford and Peter Los.

This investment raising enables Relectrify to expand production and commercial trials of its control technology for second-life batteries, with the aim of becoming a global leader. CEFC investment development director, Blair Pritchard will join Relectrify's board as an observer.

The Clean Energy Innovation Fund (CEIF) is a $200 million fund for innovative clean energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and businesses. The fund is an initiative of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) in conjunction with Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It draws on the expertise of both agencies.

John Clifford is a veteran energy and utility technology investor and chairman of numerous companies in the energy technology sector. John joined Relectrify during the company's seed investment round as non-executive director and investor, and has since become the company's chairman.

Peter Los is an experienced investor across the energy and resources sector. Peter is the Founder, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of investment firm Eye Management, which manages funds with investment focus including on energy technologies and their supply chains.

Australia's Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the investment would help Relectrify increase the longevity of second-life batteries, leading to lower battery costs in the future.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said Relectrify’s technology to recycle batteries would reduce waste and make home storage more affordable.

“Relectrify is led by bright and passionate Melbourne-based founders who are looking to bring an innovative idea to renewable energy storage solutions that can significantly lower the cost of energy storage in a sustainable way.

“We’re excited to see how the technology develops and is adopted not only by Australian consumers, but consumers around the world,” he said.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said potential applications for Relectrify’s forward-thinking technology can be adopted across the whole economy to have a significant impact on the way Australians use energy.

“Although home batteries are only a tiny part of our energy storage today, industry experts are saying they could be capable of storing around 15 gigawatt hours by 2035. That’s enough stored electricity to power South Australia’s current summer peak demand for five hours,” Mr Learmonth said.

“And while electric vehicles currently make up only around 0.2 per cent of vehicle sales in Australia, by 2035 they are expected to represent just over one quarter. That translates to an increasing supply of lithium ion batteries that are no longer useful in cars, but are still incredibly capable for other applications.

“It’s important to rapidly develop technologies like Relectrify’s, to ensure we are well placed to take advantage of high performance, reliable and cost-effective energy storage solutions that assist in the transition of the energy system, as well as reduce the environmental impact of used equipment through repurposing it.”

Relectrify Co-founder and CEO Valentin Muenzel said recycled batteries could be repurposed widely, including for 12V batteries, household solar battery systems and grid-scale storage.

“Batteries are becoming a fundamental building block of the new energy industry and seeing significant uptake across households, businesses and the power grid. And this is just the beginning. There is an immense need for affordable and capable storage across almost all parts of our lives now and in the future.

“When electric vehicles can no longer provide the driving range and acceleration required, most batteries can still be charged and discharged a further 2000 times. The trouble was large battery packs contain hundreds of individual cells, and if one isn’t working, the whole system stops functioning.

“To fix this problem, Relectrify assembled a world-class team of engineers to develop our own technology that reduces the cost of repurposing the batteries, boosts their performance and increases their longevity,” he said.

This investment announcement was covered in the Herald Sun, CleanTechnica, Recycling International, and RenewEconomy, amongst a number of other media outlets.

Hong Kong Hosts Second-Life Battery Industry Panel

In view of swiftly growing numbers of electric vehicles on the road, the Environment Bureau of Hong Kong on 25 June hosted a world-first industry event to consider second-life battery solutions. As a leading innovator, Relectrify was invited to join discussions with a select panel representing large corporates with interests in second-life batteries.

Participants in the panel included:

  • Mr Daiichiro Eguchi - Director of Battery Business Unit at Toshiba

  • Mr Jun Han - Executive VP of State Grid Corporation China

  • Mr Lothar Herrmann - CEO of Siemens Greater China

  • Mr Soeren Mohr - Head of Stationary Storage and Second-Life at BMW

  • Mr Jack Wen - President for Asia Pacific Grid Solutions at GE

Hong Kong has been a leader in electric vehicles, with the number on local roads growing from under 600 in 2013 to over 7,000 in 2016, and 11,000 in 2017. The event, which was a success throughout (the delegate airport pick-up in Teslas was a particularly nice touch), clearly highlighted the focus of Hong Kong leadership to look ahead on both the challenges and wider opportunities new technologies have to offer. 

Relectrify was represented at the event by its Electronic Engineer and Data Analyst Zhe Zhang and Co-Founder Valentin Muenzel.

Partnership with Selectronic Australia is awarded $250k Vic Govt grant

A partnership project between inverter company Selectronic Australia and Relectrify has been awarded $250,000 in grant funding by the Victorian Government as part of the New Energy Jobs Fund.

In this project, the partners will work together to develop and use shared communications protocols to enable plug-and-play between intelligent inverters, batteries and weather forecasting apps. It will be the first in Australia to use SunSpec communication protocols to enable compatibility between locally made components – inverters and batteries – as well as integrating third party software, such as weather forecasting apps, into the system. The project will therefore make an important contribution to a project to make renewable energy storage systems more efficient and cost effective.

The grant was announced by Christine Fyffe, State Member for Evelyn during a tour of Selectronic’s headquarters in Chirnside Park. She said, “The research work and practical application being carried out by Selectronic Australia will enable Victoria to be at the forefront in the universal demand for clean energy.”

“This project will ensure that the Victorian new energy industry leads the way through delivering sophisticated forecasting and increased system efficiency within existing locally developed technology,” said Selectronic Australia CEO Rod Scott.

“It is a pleasure to team up with Selectronic Australia to tackle this industry-leading project,” said Valentin Muenzel, CEO of Relectrify. “We believe the intelligent battery solutions that will be demonstrated in this project, hold tremendous cost and sustainability benefits for households in Victoria and beyond.”


Relectrify selected as science-based innovator, presents at Falling Walls

Germany's Falling Walls Conference was established in 2009 to bring together the brightest thinkers and doers with a view of identifying key walls that can be overcome by means of technological or social breakthroughs.

The organising committee chose 20 globally leading innovative science-based companies that have been invited to present at Berlin’s Falling Walls Conference. And we were very pleased that Relectrify was selected as one of these companies.

At the conference, Relectrify co-founder Val had the opportunity to present our vision of affordable and sustainable energy storage to a select group including Obi Felten, Head of Moonshots at Google X, and Marion Horstmann, Managing Director of Siemens’ next47 Innovation Unit, among numerous other key corporate and venture capital stakeholders. 

It was a pleasure to received this exposure and build a rapport with many outstanding people.