Published on December 5th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Envia GM Deal Dropped… It Seems

December 5th, 2013 by  

envia ev battery breakthrough

There’s a reason we’re very careful when covering “potentially breakthrough” technologies — the large majority of them never make it to commercialization; or, if they do make it, they don’t necessarily come through with the disruptive cost they anticipated. We had quite a bit of hope for Envia’s potentially breakthrough battery technology, especially since it seemed that GM was very bullish about the technology, but it seems that this might have been another case of too good to be true.

The GM–Envia deal seems to have been dropped. Furthermore, “the company is alleged to have used other companies’ technology in its battery tech (one part allegedly stolen, one part purchased and used as if it was their own),” Katie Fehrenbacher of Gigaom reports.

The PR firm representing Envia has responded to the lawsuit claiming the above infringements, stating, “The allegations in the complaint are baseless. The evidence will show that the plaintiffs’ lawsuit is nothing more than the spurious allegations of three disgruntled former employees.” However, it hasn’t denied the collapse of the GM deal, on which its whole future seemed to be based.


Envia claims back in February 2012

As noted back in February 2012 (yep, quite a while back), “Envia’s research was funded by the venture-capital arm of General Motors, GM Ventures, which may mean that GM would get first dibs on this ‘breakthrough’ technology.” If GM has really given up hope, it doesn’t seem as if Envia has any promise after all.

So, I don’t really think there’s much else worth reporting on at the moment. But if you want to learn more about the lawsuit, or dig into the claims Envia made back in 2012, Katie’s article is a good one. And you can check out ARPA-E’s two pages on Envia (2009 PDF and website 1-pager). And you can of course check out our original story on Envia.

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is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • heask

    It is ridiculous

    • A Real Libertarian

      What is ridiculous?

  • JamesWimberley

    Big car companies like GM are getting savvier all the time on the battery technology they buy. GM can well afford to lose $17m on Envia as part of its learning curve. There will be lots more busts like this on the way to the mass-market EV with 300km range

    • Jouni Valkonen

      On the other hand if you are tired on empty promises of unfounded start-ups, just look from the Swanson’s Law when we have an affordable 300 km range vehicle on markets.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Yes, but many of us were hoping that Envia was going to move us to the next step, affordable EVs with a solid >125 range.

        We know almost nothing about the GM thing at this point. One sentence in a report. I’ve found nothing confirming on line. It might take a few days/weeks for this to sort itself out.

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