Matthew Dakotah over at the Huffington Post has been writing a special "Women in Power" series that profiles leaders in energy and environmental innovation. His latest article on Ann Marie Sastry piqued our interest since she happens to be President and CEO of Sakti3. If you recall, Sakti3 is a promising next-generation lithium-ion battery developer that General Motors and Itochu invested $4.2 million in late last year.
A little over a month ago, General Motors Ventures announced its first investment: an undisclosed amount in Indiana-based plug-in hybrid van maker Bright Automotive. Today, GM Ventures revealed its second partner: Sakti3, a somewhat secretive lithium-ion battery developer based in Ann Arbor, MI. GM Ventures and Itochu Technology Ventures have invested $4.2 million into Sakti3, Inc., "to advance the firm's manufacturing capabilities," and to speed up commercialization of the battery cells, accord
Michigan is quickly becoming a center of lithium ion battery manufacturing in the United States. Funny thing is, almost none of the companies setting up factories in the state are based there. Sakti3 Inc. wants a piece of that battery pie and it was formed right here in Ann Arbor. Sakti3 is the brainchild of Professor Ann Marie Sastry of the University of Michigan. Sastry's research at the university focuses on two areas: battery materials and manufacturing processes.
Sun Microsystems founder Vinod Khosla has not been shy about making his bets on the automotive future known. Wherever there has been an opportunity to invest in or promote advanced ethanol, it seems Khosla was there, giving it at least a cursory look (see, for example, Coskata, which GM also invested in). He even described his "big biofuels bet" back in 2006.
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