Zap&Go’s Carbon-Ion™ (C-Ion®) cell is a new category of energy storage device that incorporates patented advanced nano-structured carbons, a proprietary ionic electrolyte, and improved fabrication techniques for enhanced energy density. C-Ion® cells function in a manner similar to regular supercapacitors, maintaining their ability to provide rapid charging along with a long cycle life, while delivering energy storage capacities more in line with those of Li-ion batteries.
The Company has developed what it believes to be the next-generation supercapacitor with the following advantages over current alternatives: (1) sub five-minute charging with slow discharge; (2) increased safety (less risk of fire or explosion); (3) greater charge/discharge cycles versus Li-ion; and (4) is easier to recycle.
Zap&Go’s strategy for the commercialization of its C-Ion® technology is to partner with manufacturers across a spectrum of sectors and industries who can incorporate the Company’s technology directly into their own products. The manufacturers can then commercialize and sell the products under their own names with the “Powered by Zap&Go” logo on the product (similar to the Intel Inside® initiative). The Company believes that this strategy not only shortens time to market (TTM), but also allows it to utilize the resources of its partners for marketing and penetration efforts of its products.
Following the debut of its technology at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017) in January 2017, the Company expects the first Zap&Go-enabled products to be available during early 2018. The Company’s first products are based on its proprietary Gen 3 technology and target the electric scooter, cordless power tools, and automotive after-markets. The Company’s thinner and more energy dense Gen 4 technology is designed for consumer products and is expected to be available during early 2019.
During CES 2017, the Company showcased various functioning prototype products that incorporated the C-Ion® technology, including a Stanley Black & Decker Cordless Power Drill, a Bissell® Vacuum Cleaner, and a Razor® E300 electric scooter.
Zap&Go has a licensing business model similar to Qualcomm [QCOM-NASDAQ] and has partnered with existing producers and contract manufacturers (CMs) of Li-ion cells who manufacture the Company’s C-Ion® cells on their current manufacturing lines. The cells are then sent to Contract Electronics Manufacturers (CEM’s), such as Flextronics International (a subsidiary of Flex ltd [FLEX-NASDAQ]), who build them into the finished products. Zap&Go receives a license fee for each C-Ion® cell used or sold. The first CM relationship is with Li-Fun Technology Co Ltd (Li-Fun Tech) in China, and overall the Company has an initial CM capacity of approximately one million C-Ion® cells per month.
The global supercapacitor market, valued at $1.2 billion in 2014, is anticipated to reach $7.4 billion by 2023 (Source: Transparency Market Research’s Supercapacitor Market Global Industry Analysis, Trend, Size, Share and Forecast 2015–2023, April 2016).
Zap&Go was selected as the winner for the 2017 Red Herring Europe Top 100 Company Award, honoring the year’s most promising European private technology ventures. Additional awards and recognitions include: (1) Red Herring Global 100 list, 2016 (2) finalist Amazon Growing Business Awards, Innovator of the Year, 2016; (3) Scientific Breakthrough Award, Everline Future 50, 2016; (4) Red Herring Europe Top 100 Company, 2016; (5) Startups 100 Winner, 2016; and (6) London Product Innovation of the Year, 2015.
In September 2016, Zap&Go secured $7.4 million from U.S. private investors and, in May 2017, was awarded a grant worth €1.43 million ($1.6 million) by Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation.