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Sparkz Resource

Granholm, Manchin Unveil U.S. Lithium Battery Development Plan

The following article was published by Bloomberg on March 18, 2022.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Senator Joe Manchin on Friday will jointly announce a program to develop lithium batteries in the U.S. as part of a broader strategy to help Appalachia amid a transition away from coal.

 

Lithium-based batteries are critical components of electric vehicles, grid storage and weapons, but the U.S. relies on international markets for the processing of most raw materials, according to the Energy Department.

 

As part of the initiative, Energy Department officials, representatives of the AFL-CIO and the United Mine Workers of America and executives of Sparkz Inc., a battery manufacturer that is developing a cobalt-free battery technology in Knoxville, Tenn., plan to meet on Friday at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston, West Virginia.

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Founder & CEO

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra

Dr. Sanjiv Malhotra is the founder and CEO of Sparkz—the battery start-up reinventing the energy supply chain.

 

Malhotra has been a leader in the energy sector for nearly three decades as a founder, investor and executive. Most recently, he served as the inaugural director for the Energy Investor Center at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), serving under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

 

At DOE, Malhotra led the Obama Administration’s initiative to boost public-private partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed in national research centers like Oak Ridge National Labs.

 

Malhotra was recruited to the Department of Energy after a successful exit of Oorja Protonics—the world leader in methanol fuel cells—which he founded and led as CEO for 10 years. Oorja raised $50 Million in equity financing from leading VCs such as Sequoia, DAG Ventures, Artis Capital and others during his tenure. He boosted Oorja’s revenue and profitability growth, while expanding operations globally in Japan, China, South Africa, Mexico, and India.

 

Oorja was acquired in 2014 by the Private Equity firm MinXing Growth Fund.

 

As an investor and consultant, Malhotra has worked at leading venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers as an advisor on clean energy and advanced materials.

 

Earlier in his career, Malhotra led the engineering and product development team at H Power, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cells. As part of the management team, he managed the successful IPO, which raised more than $100 million in August 2000.

 

He began his career as a post-doctoral fellow at the renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Labs on electrochemical storage systems. Dr. Malhotra has authored seven patents and more than 40 publications in various fields of energy storage technology and materials. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering and an M.B.A from University of Iowa.