Designer Jony Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman Discuss AI Hardware ProjectRead more

China's Chery plans to use a sodium-ion battery in its iCar. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty

The Electric: A Startup Emerges to Produce Sodium-ion Batteries in the U.S.

Photo: China's Chery plans to use a sodium-ion battery in its iCar. Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty

A former executive of battery cell maker Enovix has launched a startup to develop low-cost sodium-ion batteries, a new segment of the industry that does not use increasingly scarce lithium. The startup is among the first using the chemistry outside China, the world’s biggest producer of lithium-ion batteries, which has quickly taken a large lead in sodium-ion development.

Spencer Gore, who until earlier this month was Enovix’s head of electric vehicle products and earlier was a battery engineer at Tesla, founded the sodium-ion startup with Rafael Vilá, a doctoral student in materials science at Stanford University. Gore, who also founded electric drone developer Impossible Aerospace in the 2010s, said he and Vilá had raised single-digit millions of dollars in a seed round from angel investors, though he declined to say just how much. 

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