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Marubeni partners with Skeleton Technologies in Asian automotive market

Skeleton Technologies
Photo courtesy of Skeleton Technologies

Skeleton Technologies, the largest European manufacturer of ultracapacitors based in Estonia, and Marubeni Corporation, one of Japan’s largest conglomerates, have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to support commercial scale-up and customer acquisition for Skeleton’s new generation of ultracapacitors—called the SuperBattery—in the Asian automotive sector. The technology can serve the fast-growing electric vehicles and hydrogen transportation markets.

The SuperBattery promises 10 times more energy density than current generation ultracapacitors, a reduction in cost by 90%, a 15-second charging time, a lifetime of more than 200,000 cycles and will excel at 10-15 minute applications.

Skeleton Technologies partnered with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology to complete the development of the SuperBattery. The key differentiator for the SuperBattery is Skeleton’s patented Curved Graphene carbon material, enabling the high power and long lifetime of ultracapacitors to be applied in a graphene battery.

Enabling carbon-neutral electrification is a key priority for Marubeni Corporation. Skeleton Technologies fits perfectly in Marubeni’s portfolio as they fill the gap for high-power, extremely long high-cycles, and efficient energy storage devices. The company has validated its competitive advantage in real-life applications and has shown strong commercial traction. 

“We are delighted to back Skeleton because we see that, besides their technological advantage, they are going after scale as evidenced by their participation in the EUR3-billion (USD3.5 billion) ‘European Battery Innovation’ project alongside companies such as Tesla and BMW,” said Masayuki Omoto, COO of Next Generation Business Development Division of Marubeni Corporation.

As a key strategic partner for Skeleton Technologies, Marubeni Corporation, which is keen on advanced technology businesses, aims its cooperation with Skeleton Technologies will drive the Asian automotive market’s adoption of its technology. It anticipates that in the near future, the cost for its technology will go down much faster than for lithium-ion batteries. 

“Our main focus is on electrified vehicles and hydrogen transportation markets because our products allow them to function more efficiently and drive their costs down,” said Taavi Madiberk, CEO and co-founder of Skeleton Technologies.

Skeleton Technologies is currently investing in technology development and scaling up a new product line for the automotive sector. The cooperation with Marubeni covers Asia, excluding China and India, and will offer new resources to commercialize Skeleton’s graphene-based SuperBattery. This new energy storage solution is said to be the ideal complementary technology for lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, improving overall system efficiency and performance.

While having a strong focus on the expanding electrified and hydrogen-based transportation market, Skeleton and Marubeni will also cooperate on new applications of Skeleton’s patented curved graphene material, the key enabling technology behind Skeleton’s ultracapacitors’ performance advantage.

Marubeni Corporation has also made an equity investment in Skeleton Technologies, on top of the EUR41.3 million (USD49.2 million) Series D financing round announced by the company in November 2020.