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K2Energy Solutions Inc.: Building the Batteries of a Brighter Tomorrow
K2Energy Solutions Inc. (K2Energy) was founded in 2006 and quickly grew to become one of the leading producers and developers of advanced, rechargeable lithium iron phosphate battery products. K2 Energy has since established a strong following of clientele in a diverse range of market sectors, including electric automobile manufacturers and government agencies, industrial equipment manufacturers and utility companies. The company announced it had reached profitability in 2011. Aside from being a major financial benchmark in the K2 Energy’s history, the team considers it a testimony to the company’s appetite for continued product development.
“The battery market is absolutely huge, which always leads one to ask why anyone would want to enter a market with such heavy competition,” expands Dr. Johnnie Stoker, CEO and founder of K2Energy. “But the truth is that building a battery is just not that easy and our ability to compete stems from our team’s expertise in product development and problem-solving innovation.”
The Nevada-based company also boasts manufacturing and assembling capabilities in China and Finland, with a product line including battery cells, modules, packs and systems. The team is also happy to work directly with a client to develop custom battery systems for a range of applications, and has done so for several of its customer, including specialized systems for electric vehicles and energy storage.
Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) is the cornerstone of all of K2E products, which rely on a patented cell design to address the safety, lifespan, power and environmental concerns that current lithium ion technologies face. The design of K2Energy’s products provides an intrinsically stable source of power with no poisonous chemicals and while limiting the risk of thermal runaway, as proven by extensive testing by independent agencies, including the U.S. Department of Energy, UL and Sandia National Labs among many others.
K2Energy batteries also happen to have the highest energy densities of any lithium iron phosphate battery on the market, and packs the added benefit of lasting an average of five years longer than competing designs. To note, a longer lifespan is crucial to the product’s environmental appeal as the longest lasting battery is the most sustainable by definition. More specifically, the company’s products are produced without the use of any harmful heavy metals, are completely recyclable and can withstand over 2,000 cycles of use, often making K2Energy products more likely to outlast the device it powers.
“Large-format systems have become one of our biggest focuses, and to consumers in transportation or aerospace industries the safety of that system is extremely important,” asserts Randon Hansen, chief legal counsel at K2Energy. “LFP combines high-energy density with one of the safest and most stable chemistries out there, which is why we have been working with it since day one.”
No matter how long a battery lasts, it’s worthless if it can’t meet the needs of the most demanding applications, and K2 Energy has proven its technology capable of being both green and high performance. The team developed a 36-volt battery for use on an e-bike that was specifically developed to recognize use patterns. The result is a battery one-third the size of existing technologies that cost about one-third less while still packaging a three- to five-year shelf life, essentially eliminating the need for annual battery replacements.
K2Energy also partnered with APT Automotive to convert a classic Shelby Cobra into a beacon of sustainability and high-performance handling. APT Automotive is a California-based company specializing in engines and engine parts for classic British cars, and the K2Energy team built a completely custom system to power the roadster using K2 Energy’s 26650P cells and a 240-volt, 300-horsepower engine. K2 Energy’s powerful battery and the car’s inherently lightweight design combined to produce 1,000 pound-per-feet of torque, managing to run from zero to 60 miles-per-hour in just 3.2 seconds, without the use of any oil or gas and without any exhaust or loud engine noise produced.
“We wanted to design something that would be a symbol of what our battery could do for the electric vehicle industry,” expands Lysle Oliveros, head of marketing at K2Energy. The cherry on top, though, was when Carroll Shelby – for whom the car is named – had the opportunity to drive the car in 2010, ultimately giving the car the Shelby seal of approval and his autograph.
Finding Sustainable Growth
Equally as remarkable, though, is how K2Energy has been able to find organic, sustainable and profitable growth independent of any major government subsidies in its target markets. “We have always focused on a variety of markets where our products have a direct impact to our clients,” adds Oliveros. “While we would have liked to see some of the hundreds of millions of dollars funded to competitors through federal grant and loan programs, our focus on supplying immediate industry needs without those types of crutches really forced us to diversify and develop a business model that we believe will be profitable in the long-term and we’re proud of that.”
Another big impetus for K2Energy will be the adoption of anti-idling laws by cities, counties and states across the country. Some states – such as Oregon, California and Pennsylvania – already have anti-idling laws in effect aimed at curbing the amount of exhaust and air pollution released into the atmosphere from idle vehicles. However, idling can serve a practical purpose, especially in the case of commercial truck drivers who rely on the engines to power heating and cooling equipment during mandatory rest periods and K2 Energy believes that the company’s products will provide a measure of relief to both parties.
“We’re not looking for vanity applications; we want to see this technology take care of real, tangible needs across many motored vehicles, not just automobiles,” asserts Oliveros. K2Energy’s product can already be found powering medical carts in many hospitals, electric wheelchairs, scooters and e-bikes among many others.
Whatever the next application for its products, K2 Energy Solutions Inc. will continue to breathe life into the battery industry, proving battery technology can be safe and environmentally conscious with sacrificing performance.