Next-Gen Battery Maker Sparkz CEO to Present Keynote at Ceraweek’s Agora

LIVERMORE, Calif.– SPARKZ CEO Sanjiv Malhotra, a venture capital, U.S. Department of Energy and climate tech veteran, will reveal how the first fully vertically integrated US battery company’s technology is re-engineering the battery supply chain, with a vision of employing thousands of unemployed coal miners in West Virginia at this week’s CERA Agora innovation conference on Wednesday at 2PM Houston time.

The NY TIMES featured SPARKZ’s inspiring story on its front page last month. 


WHO: Sanjiv Malhotra, CEO/Founder of SPARKZ WHAT: CERA Week’s Agora Innovation Keynote entitled: “It’s Patriotic Power” WHEN: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 2PM Houston-time WHERE: George R. Brown Convention Center, Level 3


The company announced plans in August to set up shop in West Virginia for material processing and production of cells and modules. The project will help coalfield families transition into the new energy economy in collaboration with the United Mine Workers of America. The initial phase for the project was announced with Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Senator Joe Manchin in March.  SPARKZ has also committed to over 800 new, full-time jobs and over $700 million of investment in the state of California–it’s headquarters.


Founded in late 2019 by industry veteran and former U.S. Department of Energy executive Sanjiv Malhotra, SPARKZ will begin commercialization of a high energy-density zero-cobalt and zero-nickel, American-made Lithium-ion battery, while continuing its groundbreaking research and development focused on re-engineering the rest of the battery supply chain.

The company’s first commercial product will eliminate cobalt and nickel, traditionally used in Lithium battery materials, with the objective of reducing the cost of lithium battery production in the U.S., while also eliminating a primary environmental concern, and reducing chokepoints created by a foreign supply-chain.

Copyright © Sparkz Inc. 2023

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.