How a Canadian Startup Is Making Clean Energy From Retired Batteries
Canadian startup Moment Energy was part of Motivate VANCOUVER in 2022. We interview the founders to discuss the opportunities of second-life storage systems.
How did you all come together to start Moment Energy?
The founders are Edward Chiang (CEO), Sumreen Rattan (COO), Gurmesh Sidhu (CPO), and Gabriel Soares (CTO). We met in our first year of study at Simon Fraser University in the Mechatronic Systems Engineering Program and started Moment Energy shortly after graduating, with the drive to become tech entrepreneurs. We are a group of innovative and forward-thinking entrepreneurs who saw the need for energy reliability, and a solution for electric vehicle batteries that would retire from vehicles with no place to go. By recognizing the shortage of clean energy solutions, we realized that repurposing these batteries into energy storage systems could solve multiple problems at once. What brought us together is the idea of using technology to make a positive difference in the world. We combined our engineering, cleantech, and business experience to form Moment Energy.
We believe that having the right team is crucial for the success of a startup and that our complementary strengths and industry relationships make us well-suited to take on the challenges of building a successful business.
What are the main challenges Moment Energy is trying to solve?
Our mission is to provide worldwide access to clean, affordable and reliable energy storage. We decided to call our latest energy storage solution The Flora. It leverages retired electric vehicle batteries to provide a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to traditional energy storage systems and dirty energy generation, such as diesel generators.
The Flora also helps solve the intermittency of renewable generation like solar and wind. For example, when the sun is shining, solar panels generate electricity, but the demand for electricity may be low at that time. Rather than wasting the excess electricity or feeding it back into the grid, it can be stored in batteries or other energy storage devices for later use. Then, when the sun is not shining, and energy demand is high, the stored energy can be released to meet the demand.
How does your business model work?
We collect retired electric vehicle batteries with an average of 80% of their original capacity left from major automakers. We repurpose them into stationary energy storage solutions and offer them to commercial and industrial customers on and off the grid as a clean, affordable, and reliable alternative to traditional energy solutions. By doing this, we are reducing waste, increasing grid reliability and contributing to a circular economy for EV batteries.
How do you repurpose retired electric vehicle batteries?
There are a few general steps we follow:
OEM relations: At Moment Energy, we start by creating lasting relationships with automotive OEMs, like Mercedes Benz-Energy, to help them sustainably handle their end-of-life EV batteries.
Determine the batteries’ state of health: Before we repurpose the batteries, it is essential that we test them to determine the state of their health to assess the battery’s remaining capacity and expected lifespan.
Install and configure the battery management system (BMS): The battery BMS is crucial for monitoring and controlling the battery’s charge and discharge. It is important to design a BMS that will ensure the safe and efficient operation of the battery. The BMS is configured according to the pack size and the safety parameters.
Test system: After the system is assembled, it is fully tested to ensure that the pack is safe and ideal for the application it will be fulfilling.
What partnerships have you developed so far with established players?
Moment Energy has established relationships with major automotive manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz Energy. We are proud to have access to the highest quality second-life EV batteries to build our Flora energy storage solution.
How do you work with them?
Anytime we create a relationship with another organization, we focus on creating value to them. When it comes to automotive OEMs, we understand their need to dispose of end-of-life EV batteries sustainably. We do that by extending the lifetime value of their batteries in a secondary application. This solves the disposal problem and creates an additional revenue stream for them.
What kind of technologies can integrate with your batteries?
Moment Energy’s Flora can charge with various renewable energy sources, the grid, or diesel generators.
Where do you envision yourself in a year from now?
Moment Energy envisions itself as a leading provider of sustainable energy storage solutions, with a growing team of passionate individuals working together to impact the world positively. The company is committed to its mission of providing access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy for all and is looking forward to continuing its growth and success in the coming years.