Austrian battery startup Kreisel Electric grabbed some attention in the EV media by facing off with a Model S in a converted Porsche Panamera. Now it’s in the spotlight again after announcing the backing of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his nephew, Patrick Knapp-Schwarzenegger. The Governator, a longtime EV fan, became familiar with Kreisel when he hired the company to add an electric drivetrain to his off-road Mercedes G-Class.
After working out of a three-door garage for years, Kreisel is now moving into a €10-million research center and battery assembly plant in Reinbach, near Innsbruck. The plant will have an annual capacity of 8,000 battery packs.
Kreisel is cooperating with Porsche to develop charging infrastructure, and is also working with VDL Groep in the Netherlands to deliver 2,000 electric powertrains and battery packs for Mercedes Sprinter vans. Sources at both BMW and Daimler have said they’re watching Kreisel “with interest.”
Kreisel says it can squeeze as much as 65 percent more range from standard lithium-ion batteries, using patented laser-welding and thermal-cooling techniques. It has signed licensing deals that will bring its battery technology to production vehicles from several carmakers beginning in 2020.
“Our goal isn’t to get into large-scale production of batteries, but to help carmakers with the development of the technology,” said co-founder Markus Kreisel.