Battery startup Lyten recruits senior female executive Mikolajczak - - 2 minutes read

July 21 (Reuters) - Silicon Valley battery startup Lyten has hired electric vehicle industry veteran Celina Mikolajczak as chief battery technology officer, the company said on Thursday.

Mikolajczak is one of the highest-ranking female executives in an industry still dominated by men. She previously held senior positions at Tesla (TSLA.O), Uber (UBER.N), Panasonic (6752.T) and, most recently, battery startup QuantumScape (QS.N), where she was chief manufacturing officer.

Before that, she was vice president of engineering and battery technology at Panasonic Energy of North America, a partner with Tesla in Reno, Nevada at the country's first battery "gigafactory."

Mikolajczak is a "critical addition" to Lyten's executive team, according to Chief Executive and co-founder Dan Cook, citing her "deep experience and knowledge" in the development and production of battery cells for electric vehicles.

In an interview, Mikolajczak said Lyten's lithium sulfur technology "takes nickel out of the cathode" in the battery at a critical time. The EV industry envisions a potential shortage of nickel beyond 2025 as consumer demand for electric vehicles surges.

Cook said Lyten is building a pilot cell assembly line in Silicon Valley that is scheduled to begin operation by the end of the year. Larger facilities, including one supporting "tens of gigawatts" of production capacity, are planned.

He said the company already has raised more than $200 million from private investors, and aims to tap other funding sources, including institutional and strategic investors, as well as government programs and eventually public markets.

Asked when Lyten's technology will be ready for prime time, Cook said: "We have every intention of delivering a lithium sulfur (battery) at large-scale production in the second half of the decade."

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit Editing by Marguerita Choy

Source: Reuters

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