Equinor and Hanon Systems have joined the Volta Energy Technologies global energy storage investor consortium, it was recently announced. Equinor is an international energy company and Hanon is a global automotive supplier. Volta CEO Jeff Chamberlain answered some questions for CleanTechnica about the new additions.
What benefits result from organizing and managing this type of consortium?
By acting as a syndicate, Volta and our investors have the opportunity to jointly shape the interconnected energy system of the future. By working together to gain early insight into potentially breakthrough technologies, our investors, who will be the users of the products created by our portfolio companies or suppliers to those companies, will be able to stay ahead of their competition and ensure that the technologies Volta pursues will have a home in the marketplace.
What do the new members bring to the consortium?
Volta’s strategic investors have unique interests and needs; however, developments in batteries and energy storage technology have the potential to disrupt all investors’ businesses by fundamentally shifting the way we produce, store and use electricity. Participating in Volta puts investors in a place to drive — instead of follow — massive, industry-wide changes. With the addition of Equinor and Hanon Systems, Volta’s investors represent a fuller spectrum of the energy storage value chain, from energy production and supply, to the use of storage in vehicles and on the electric grid.
Why is cross-sector collaboration beneficial?
Cross-sector collaboration with corporations – particularly those with strategic interest in energy storage and batteries – is a hallmark of Volta’s model. Batteries and energy storage, interconnected and in multiple applications, are central to the energy system of the future, so Volta’s scope includes any hardware, software, materials, or manufacturing process that enable the ubiquitous adoption of batteries for electric vehicles and storage for renewable power generation. Each Volta strategic investor participates in a working group that meets regularly to discuss the opportunities in Volta’s pipeline. Volta prioritizes its efforts based on the feedback from this group to ensure we are squarely focused on investors’ strategic and financial needs.
Does international collaboration have benefits?
Yes – the energy system of the future is interconnected and global, and our international partnerships reflect this.
Do the consortium members meet on a regular basis?
Each Volta strategic investor participates in a working group that meets regularly to discuss the opportunities in Volta’s pipeline. Volta prioritizes its efforts based on the feedback from this group to ensure we are squarely focused on investors’ strategic and financial needs.
Does the consortium have its own knowledge center or some research repository?
Volta’s team has deep experience developing products, developing companies, and investing in the energy space. Volta focuses our efforts on diligence prior to investing and helping the entrepreneurs mature their technologies and businesses after investing. This is why Volta does not do any of its own technical laboratory research and development.
Does the consortium share knowledge with the public, and if so, how does it?
Volta shares its work product — such as position papers and recommendations — exclusively with the strategic partners in the consortium.
Does the consortium interact with automakers, and if so, which ones?
Volta does not yet have an automotive OEM as a strategic investor, although Volta is actively working to identify an OEM to join the consortium.
Currently, Volta does work with automotive OEMs in two ways: 1) We collaborate with OEMs when automotive OEMs are also investors in the same companies alongside Volta and 2) generally, through collaborative discussions outside of the investment vehicles.
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