Director of Research
A new era of mobile phone technology bloomed in 1987 when Nokia launched its first mobile phone, the Mobira Cityman. It cost thousands of dollars even though the battery lasted a mere hour.
One of the things that transformed the heavy, brick-like cell phones of the 1980s to the super-functional smart phones of today is the lithium ion battery. Lithium ion technology was crucial in the transformation to small and lowcost portable electronics. And now, the technology is aimed at a brand new transformation: bringing electronic vehicles to the masses.
New Fuel Efficiency Rules
As the governments in America and Canada have laid out fuel efficiency rules that set a 35.5 miles per gallon average for the automobile industry by 2016, we are sure to see more demand for ecofriendly batteries. The huge potential was not missed by big corporations, who are tripping over themselves to get on board with the new wave of battery efficiency. Korea is certainly right there with them. Samsung SDI, LG Chemical, and SK Energy have dived into the ever-growing markets.
Amid the increasing competitive threats posed by big players, a small Canadian company was thrust into the spotlight when they were announced as the new supplier of Chrysler hybrid Ram trucks in May 2010. An Ontario-based company with 100 employees, Electrovaya is now a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The founders, Sankar Das Gupta and Jim Jacobs, started the company in 1996 and went public in 2002.
Electrovaya¡¯s innovation in the rechargeable lithium battery industry is their very own nanostructured platform technology. The technology does not rely on specific components, hence the term ¡°platform technology.¡± No mere flash in the pan, this company has had a series of technology improvements leading to enhanced energy density.
The Secret: Heavy Investment in Research
A major flow of investment in research produced a 30-fold increase in revenue since 2000. Add to that the supply contract with Chrysler, and the rising attention is not surprising. The secret behind the impressive success, as the company points out, is heavy investment in research and development. As a result, the company had gone without a surplus for more than twenty years. In 2009, it posted a profit of $549,000 for the first time. Its strong commitment to R&D is evidenced by its workforce composition as well. Engineers account for forty percent of the workforce. There is nothing new about the formula: just hard work and unmitigated dedication.
As much as the Cityman seems like a distant memory for those of us old enough to remember, recall that the smart phone in your hand at this very moment was science fiction in 1987. One thing is for certain. We live in exciting times. As curious as a Mobius loop, tomorrrow is sure to bring awe-inspiring innovations that will transform the very way we conceive of who we are today.
A major flow of investment in research produced a 30-fold increase in revenue since 2000. Add to that the supply contract with Chrysler, and the rising attention is not surprising. The secret behind the impressive success, as the company points out, is heavy investment in research and development. As a result, the company had gone without a surplus for more than twenty years.