Battery fires are bad. Just ask LG, GM, Tesla, Volkswagen or any of the hundreds of people whose e-bikes have caught fire. While fires caused by EVs are a relative rarity compared with fossil fuel vehicles, that doesn’t mean they’re not dangerous.
But there’s something that batteries have that fossil fuels don’t: the ability to monitor themselves.
“Every lithium-ion battery is an IoT device,” Accure co-founder and CEO Kai-Philipp Kairies told TechCrunch+. “All of these batteries are generating heaps of data.”
Batteries are going to be everywhere in the next couple decades, reshaping everything from cars and trucks to toys, home furnishings and more, all things that people interact with on a daily basis. The potential for fires could increase as adoption grows, but it doesn’t have to. All that data that batteries are generating gives us a window into how they’re operating. It also gives us a chance to predict when they’ll go haywire.
Kairies and his co-founders started Accure with an eye toward minimizing battery fires, taking problematic cells out of service before they pose a hazard. The team creates a digital twin of the batteries it monitors, starting with models based on the physical properties of the specific chemistry and construction and blending in artificial intelligence to aid in predictions.
“We’re using the sensors and we’re dissecting the signals into what are the underlying properties causing the signals. Then we use prediction mechanisms for the underlying behaviors. And from there, we can use a model again to say, what is this leading toward?” he said.
“As far as I know, we’re the only company that has consistently been able to correctly predict thermal runaway in a battery days and weeks before it happens,” he said. “We can’t guarantee 100%. That’s just not possible. But we can substantially reduce the fire risk of a battery.”
The company announced Tuesday that it has raised 7.2 million euros in a Series A2 led by Blue Bear Capital and HSBC Asset Management with participation from Riverstone Holdings and Capnamic Ventures.