This company wants to build a better battery than Elon Musk

September 29, 2015, 12:04 AM UTC

Building a battery company is hard. But it’s even harder to do while the clean energy bubble is popping and your competitors are going bankrupt.

But that didn’t stop Ann Marie Sastry, the co-founder and CEO of seven-year-old battery startup Sakti3, who recently signed a deal to put her new solid state lithium-ion batteries into products from vacuum company Dyson.

Speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech E conference in Austin on Monday, Sastry said it would still be two or three years before you can buy Dyson products with the new battery inside. She didn’t say whether they would be added to Dyson’s wireless vacuum cleaners, hand dryers, or fans.

Sakti3’s technology is different from the lithium-ion batteries that Tesla (TSLA) is pioneering with its giant energy storage Powerwall batteries for businesses and utilities, or the batteries inside its electric cars, in that it eliminates any extraneous non energy storing elements inside the battery. That is what makes them solid-sate and able to store more energy.

However, the Sakti3’s batteries are only now going into production.

With Sastry now focused on scaling up her firm’s technology, she had some words of wisdom for entrepreneurs trying to commercialize technology out of a research lab or academia. Think about how to increase production from the beginning. She said that when she began researching how to build the solid state battery, she told researchers they could not use metals like platinum or gold that would stymie the company’s effort to scale even if they helped the battery hit short-term performance benchmarks.

As for the audience members who were worried about Sakti3’s batteries suddenly making their Tesla’s obsolete, Sastry was encouraging. She explained that solid state batteries are a next-generation technology that will rely on firms like Tesla to popularize. So anyone buying a Tesla today is only helping create a market for companies like hers. Plus, if her batteries are two or three years away from powering a wireless vacuum, surely automobiles are at least five or six years away.

Click here for more coverage of Fortune’s Brainstorm E conference.

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