Lyten, the FootPrint Coalition portfolio company making safer, cheaper batteries for carmakers, flying car makers, and the government, has nabbed one of the biggest names in battery manufacturing -- Celina Mikolajczak.
While Mikolajczak isn't a household name like Elon Musk, she's worked at many of the biggest names in energy storage and mobility.
She comes to our portfolio company, Lyten, after a stint at QuantumScape, the publicly traded battery company that's currently worth over $5 billion.
"She's an industry leader," one battery insider wrote in a text. "The fact that Lyten got her is huge."
At Lyten, Mikolajczak will assume the role of Chief Battery Technology Officer and lead the company's Battery Product Innovation Group.
Before QuantumScape, Mikolajczak had stints at Tesla, Uber, and Panasonic.
“Celina’s deep experience and knowledge in the highly sophisticated areas of cell engineering and the scaling of full cell architectures are unparalleled,” said Dan Cook, Lyten CEO and Co-Founder, in a statement. “She recognizes the opportunity to accelerate the added dimensions of sustainability, safety, and re-shoring of critical North American cell manufacturing at a time of significant geopolitical and supply chain risk... She is a critical addition to the Lyten executive team.”
For her part, Mikolajczak said that Lyten's technology addresses one of the biggest hurdles the battery industry will face -- access to the metals that are critical components of any energy storage system.
“It’s impossible to ignore the fact that there will be insufficient nickel capacity to support even the currently announced OEM EV platforms,” Mikolajczak said in a statement. “The industry needs alternatives to the high nickel cathodes used in conventional lithium-ion cells to meet the world’s automotive electrification and environmental goals. Lyten’s lithium-sulfur technology is one of the most promising for high-performance nickel-free battery chemistries, and I am excited to lead the deep technical bench at Lyten to deliver this energy storage platform to the marketplace.”
At Tesla Mikolajczak focused on cell quality and materials engineering and helped develop the battery cells and packs for Tesla’s Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Roadster Refresh.
With Lyten, she has access to a 3D graphene manufacturing platform that's received multiple patents and can be used in packaging, auto components, as a composite in metals, and even in sensors.
Within the world of energy storage, Lyten's batteries can have three times the energy density of a lithium ion battery with a 60% lower carbon footprint because they use less metal.
With the Inflation Reduction Act and the requirement to source batteries domestically, Lyten could become one of the major suppliers in the U.S. electric vehicle market.
The company isn't without competition. Lithium sulfur and lithium titanate batteries are also under development at companies like Zeta Energy and ZapBatt, and solid state batteries from QuantumScape, and others are all attempting to upend battery development with novel chemistries..
With the addition of Mikolajczak, Lyten now has an experienced battery executive who has scaled production at multiple companies to take its business to the next level.