February 14, 2019: Wirtz Manufacturing, the lead battery equipment designer and manufacturer, has invested an undisclosed sum into ZAF Energy Systems, the nickel-zinc battery maker, ZAF announced on February 14.
“The investment will expand ZAF’s manufacturing capacity from hundreds of batteries a month to thousands of batteries a month in the ZAF Joplin facility,” the company said.
“This added capacity will allow ZAF to rapidly seed the market and meet the growing customer demand for its rechargeable nickel-zinc batteries globally. This investment in a full production line will allow licensing and joint venture partners to validate the quality and throughput of the technology for commercially scaled factories that are expected to begin build-outs in 2019.”
Wirtz CEO John Wirtz said the decision to partner ZAF had come about after experiments with ZAF electrodes showed plates could be produced at similar production rates as with lead-acid technology.
“After seeing the performance improvements and cost savings being delivered by nickel-zinc battery technologies, we are proud to invest in ZAF to bring its next-generation technology to the marketplace.”
Last year, ZAF received a pledge from the Missouri Department of Economic Development Fund for $600,000 to spend on staff, expanded production and new partnerships.
“This additional production capability will further enable ZAF to accelerate licensing and joint venture negotiations and commercialize NiZn batteries on a global scale,” said ZAF, whose batteries are used in automotive, heavy trucking, remote telecoms and renewable energy applications.