It is essential for batteries to be both efficient and safe, whether they’re being used for the vehicle you are driving (or might one day drive) or your kid’s toy.
Solib Solutions, a Cary-based startup, is on a mission to make batteries charge faster, retain a charge longer, and be less flammable by using solid (rather than liquid) electrolytes. The company recently took part in the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED)’s GRO Incubator—a 12-week accelerator program for startups. (We covered the program’s June 29 Demo Day here.)
Tess Liu, Co-Founder and CFO, is getting her PhD in Food Science at NC State.
The GRO incubator “definitely helped a lot sharpening our business model,” Lui said.
Launched in January of 2022, Solib Solutions has a patented prototype of a coin-cell battery, a type of battery that can power medical devices, smartwatches and other smaller electronics.
“Our battery has a couple advantages over others,” said Yuan Wang, Co-Founder and CEO. One of those advantages is energy density, or how much power a battery can hold.
There have also been issues with some EVs catching fire, which is why it is Solib Solutions’ objective to create a safer battery part, Wang said.
Current batteries on the market are all liquid-state batteries. Solib Solutions is working on a newer technology: a solid-state battery. Car manufacturers like Toyota have announced plans to use solid-state batteries in their EVs in the next few years.
Solid-state batteries have 2-2 ½ times more energy density than liquid-state batteries and are also less flammable.
Currently Solib Solutions will sell only battery parts—specifically, electrolytes in a solid form. The startup aims to produce these solid electrolytes to be sold to battery manufacturers, which would then distribute full batteries to electric vehicle (EV) and consumer electronic companies. People driving EVs powered by Solib Solutions’ battery components will be able to drive further on a single charge.
After generating more revenue, the company hopes to expand their business to manufacture and sell whole batteries.
The solid-state battery industry is projected to grow from $62 million in 2020 to $483 million by 2027. The demand for solid electrolytes is similarly expected to grow, with the market size valued at $17.8 million in 2020 and estimated to reach $56.6 million by the year 2030.
Xiangwu Zhang, Co-Founder and CTO, is a professor at NC State. The team has another goal of developing a hybrid battery that would use both liquid and solid electrolytes.
“Our hybrid electrolyte will be as safe as a traditional solid-state electrolyte,” Zhang wrote.
Solib Solutions has raised around $30,000 by crowdfunding and is looking to apply for other grants, Lui said. The startup is pre-seed and is looking for funding from a variety of groups including angel investors.
“Our mission is to provide battery electrolytes for better batteries,” Liu said.