Aptera co-founder Chris Anthony has bowed out of day-to-day business activities at the three-wheeled vehicle developer as it seeks to put the brakes on its cash burn. But one of his other startups, Flux Power, has just hit the gas, with the launch of its first product last week.
Based in Vista, Calif., Flux plans to market modular systems for a range of energy storage applications, including electric vehicles and backup power supplies, as Chief Technology Officer Joseph Gottlieb told us last month. It’s starting with a charger and a lithium ion battery module. In the second quarter of next year, Flux also plans to introduce a drive system, according to the company’s web site.
“Our data collection and cell metrics allow for extended warranties and determining the residual value of a cell after primary use which creates an opportunity for battery leasing options,” Gottlieb said in today’s release. The system records each cell through its entire life cycle, which Flux says makes it easy to find quality defects.
Flux Power is hardly alone in the race to provide better battery management systems, or BMS, for advanced energy storage applications. Mammoth auto supplier Ricardo unveiled a generic battery management system this summer meant to work with any vehicle battery cell size or chemistry, enabling automatic adjustments within the battery pack based on changes in individual cells.
Other startups are trying to get in on the management side of the battery game, too: Tesla Motors is supplying battery pack tech for Daimler’s electric Smart car (the first deal in what Tesla hopes will be a larger tech supply business) and 2-year-old Atieva aims to provide custom battery systems for independent plug-in car makers (in May, it was working with Lishen to build 3,000 battery packs for buses in China as part of a nationally subsidized initiative).
Flux hopes to compete on cost, using lithium cells from a variety of manufacturers and packaging them into a battery with the Flux management system that can then be tweaked for different applications. Customers — an automaker, for example — will then be able to take that modular system, create their own specially tuned battery pack and easily integrate Flux’s smart charger.