News & Events

Battery firm strikes key deal

Publication: | June, 2011

A deal with a major after-market battery supplier has sparked Leyden Energy’s plans for growth.

Since buying a DuPont patent in 2007 for a battery component called an electrolyte, the Fremont company has worked to improve battery life for consumer products. Leyden’s electrolyte improves lithium ion batteries, making them last longer and giving them higher energy output than commercially available batteries, said CEO Aakar Patel.

The company is now marketing after-market laptop batteries with a three-year life, but its technology could be used in any lithium ion battery from those in cell phones to electric cars.

A few years ago, a typical battery could be recharged 300 to 500 times before it would start to lose its staying power, said Patel. Using Leyden’s technology, batteries can be recharged 1,000 times before they begin to degrade, Patel said.

“We can take any traditional lithium ion that’s out there and extend the number of cycles,” or charges before it degrades, Patel said.

Richmond, British Columbia-based Dr. Battery is its largest customer and now wants to use Leyden’s technology in all 1,200 of its products. It’s starting with 140 this year, Dr. Battery CEO Joshua Huen said, and “eventually, if the market accepts that, we’re pushing Leyden technology in all our products.”

Huen said after-market laptop batteries cost around $50 for a battery that lasts about a year. Leyden’s technology extends the life of those batteries to two to three years and will cost around $75, saving consumers money, Huen said. He said the company is backing Leyden-laced batteries with two- and three-year warranties. Dr. Battery distributes batteries in 26 countries.

After-market batteries were $600 million of a $2 billion lithium ion battery market in 2009, the latest year for which data are available, according to Don Saxman, an analyst with BCC Research.

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