Seeking cleantech ‘breakthrough’, Ottawa’s GBatteries lands up to $3M in funding

gbatteries
The team behind Ottawa-based GBatteries. Photo by Mark Holleron

An Ottawa startup’s bold quest to charge electric vehicles in a fraction of the time offered by traditional methods is getting a boost from a public-private initiative.

GBatteries announced this past week it will receive up to $3 million in funding through the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada program. The initiative is backed by Natural Resources Canada, BDC and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund that aims to advance clean energy innovation in Canada.

GBatteries, which uses artificial intelligence to optimize a battery’s rate of charge, is the only Ottawa-based company among 10 winners of the Breakthrough competition, which saw 22 finalists pitch their cleantech proposals in January. The initiative’s drive to reduce carbon emissions even earned it a shout-out from Bill Gates on Twitter.

GBatteries CEO Kostya Khomutov said in a statement that the funding will allow GBatteries to ramp up its testing with automakers in a push to bring the company’s fast-charging solution to scale.

“We believe this will accelerate the transition away from internal combustion vehicles – one of the main contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, in Canada and globally,” he said.

Khomutov spoke to Techopia last year about the audacious promise offered by GBatteries’ technology, which purports to charge an electric vehicle’s battery as quickly as it takes to fill up a tank of gas. He said then the biggest barrier to commercialization is disbelief about what the company’s solution can actually achieve.

He added that the more opportunities GBatteries has to test and demonstrate its tech, the bigger the impact the company could have on the wider automotive industry.

“It’s really chicken and egg right now. As we demonstrate our technology, we strongly believe that we’ll accelerate the whole infrastructure,” he told Techopia.