Wirtz Manufacturing, a lead-acid battery manufacturer, has invested in ZAF Energy Systems to bolster battery production.
ZAF Energy Systems manufactures battery technologies using sustainable and non-toxic materials. Its battery technologies include nickel zinc (NiZn) chemistry and a zinc-air chemistry, both of which are claimed to offer high power and energy density compared to regular battery system in their class.
ZAF’s rechargeable batteries can support a variety of applications including renewables integration, back-up power, mobility, electric vehicles, commercial trucking, consumer electronics, and recreation vehicles.
With the investment from Wirtz, ZAF Energy Systems is expected to scale up its production from hundreds of batteries per month to thousands of batteries per month at its ZAF Joplin facility in Missouri. This increased capacity will allow the company to rapidly meet the growing global market demand for its rechargeable nickel-zinc (NiZn) batteries.
This investment in full production line will also allow licensing and joint venture (JV) partners in validating the quality and throughput of the technology for commercial-scale factories that are expected to begin construction this year.
Wirtz Manufacturing CEO John Wirtz said: “We became very excited in partnering with ZAF when we experimented with the ZAF electrodes and found that we could produce plates at similar production rates as lead-acid technology after seeing the performance improvements and cost savings being delivered by nickel-zinc battery technologies, and we are proud to invest in ZAF to bring its next-generation technology to the marketplace.”
Investment from Wirtz follows a $600,000 investment commitment ZAF received last year from Missouri’s Department of Economic Development Fund. These investments are being used by ZAF to expand production, forge strategic partnerships and to hire employees.
The company also claims that the additional production capability will further enable the company to speed up licensing processes and joint venture negotiations and in commercializing its NiZn batteries on a global scale.
ZAF Energy Systems president and CEO Randy Moore said: “The investment from Wirtz, a respected leader and innovator in the battery industry, offers further validation of the company’s NiZn battery technology. As ZAF continues to commercialize our technology it is vital to have a partner like Wirtz.
“Customers are ready to place orders as soon as our manufacturing capacity is available, and this investment will help us do that. We believe our partnership with Wirtz provides ZAF with best in class manufacturing equipment lines to ensure our quality is both excellent and consistent worldwide.”