German based Theion, a global battery manufacturer of lithium-sulphur cathode technology, today announced the appointment of Dr. Ulrich Ehmes as CEO and the upcoming commercial availability of its Crystal Battery for applications, beginning with the aerospace sector. Dr. Ehmes, who has a long track record of industrialising battery production at companies like Swiss-listed lithium-ion battery company Leclanché, will lead the commercialization of Theion’s innovative lithium-sulphur cathode technology, which is targeting triple the range and usage time compared to conventional lithium-ion cells.
Theion’s battery innovation is based on sulphur – a material available In abundance without harmful mining (a byproduct of industrial processes). Sulphur replaces cathode materials with high processing cost and high metal content like nickel and cobalt. As a result, sulphur is not only 99% cheaper to source than the cathode materials, used in existing state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries, but Theion’s battery cells also require 90% less energy to produce – from raw material to finished cell.
Under the leadership of Dr. Ehmes, Theion will leverage his decade-long experience in the battery manufacturing sector to scale production. Dr. Ehmes also serves on the Board of major battery research clusters funded by the German Ministry of Research and Education, and is a member of European and German battery associations.
“I joined Theion because I am convinced that selecting the right battery active materials and processing these materials in a way that best leverages the material’s storage property, will disrupt the battery industry to another level,” said Dr. Ulrich Ehmes, Theion CEO. “With 16 patents pending, our process innovations are scalable, and will bring a new dimension of mobility, range, usage time and sustainability.”
Theion’s patented production process extends the cycle life of batteries by combining sulphur’s crystal material properties with carbon nanotubes and a proprietary solid electrolyte. The company will be shipping material later this year, firstly to aerospace customers, as part of the qualification stage, then aircraft, air taxis, drones, mobile phones and laptops, before servicing the electric flight and automotive sectors in 2024.
“We are using mother nature’s crystals under the guidance of our patented processes to unlock sulphur’s full potential as energy carrier,” said Marek Slavik, Theion co-founder and CTO. “Its wide abundance around the world is crucial to the material cost. The design of our highly energy efficient manufacturing processes makes our Crystal Batteries fully sustainable.”
Theion is backed by Lukasz Gadowski, CEO of Team Global, a technology holding company investing in and starting frontier technology companies. With a successful track record that includes Delivery Hero, and recent investments into Volocopter, Zapata and AutoFlight, Theion’s addition to the portfolio is highly synergetic.
“At a time when industry demand for batteries is surging, but materials cost and sustainable sourcing are experiencing volatility, Theion’s breakthrough is ideally timed,” Lukasz Gadowski, founder and CEO of Team Global, and principal investor. “Theion’s Crystal Battery is perfect for all mobility applications, while being massively sustainable, and is targeting to extend the use time of handheld devices, the driving range of electric cars, and the safe flight time of eVTOL applications and electric aircraft by a factor of three. When in full production, it has the potential to replace every battery in every mobility device on earth.”
Headquartered in Berlin, Theion operates three locations within the city, specializing in cell design, prototyping and testing. Theion is expanding by adding manufacturing facilities to accelerate its mass production roadmap, beginning in Berlin. Locations for later Giga-Factories are not determined yet, but will be located close to the customers. Thus, production sites are envisioned In Europe, Asia and the USA.