Mississauga, Ontario-based Electrovaya, maker of lithium-ion superpolymer battery systems, got a major boost Monday after announcing that former Chrysler CEO and vice-chairman Thomas LaSorda had joined its board and become a strategic advisor to Sankar DasGupta, Electrovaya’s founder and CEO. As if that wasn’t enough to excite investors, Chrysler Group disclosed that it has selected Electrovaya as the battery supplier for a DOE-funded plug-in hybrid demonstration project. Chrysler is building 140 PHEV Ram trucks as part of the project, and the vehicles will use Electrovaya’s battery system.
No doubt, the Chrysler relationship is golden for Electrovaya, and LaSorda brings a depth of industry and management experience that has always been a weak spot for this small Ontario company. As I’ve written in previous posts, Electrovaya is on a roll. Automotive partnerships in Asia, Europe, and now North America (and with a Tier 1 automaker, no less!). It recorded its first profit in the last quarter of 2009. And its progress hasn’t been just around car batteries. It has also started to get more seriously into the grid storage game, announcing in February that it is the battery supply partner in a $7.5 project to test out the idea of using old lithium-ion vehicle batteries for utility-scale grid storage. As I said before, 2010 will be — and is becoming — a breakout year for Electrovaya.