Former Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu Joins Battery Maker Amprius

JAN 21 2014 BY MARK KANE 13

Chevrolet Volt Battery Production Finally Come To The US (first Volt lithium-ion battery pack shown above)

Dr Steven Chu and Chevrolet Volt’s first battery pack

Dr. Steven Chu, former US Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, recently joined the Board of Directors at Amprius.

Amprius is developing and currently sampling high capacity lithium-ion batteriy silicon anodes, which together with Li-S batteries are one of the two most likely next-generation battery technologies

Chu’s presence gives credence to the company, so the is hope that it will not collapse like Envia did.

Dr. Steven Chu stated:

“Higher-energy and longer-lasting batteries are in high demand for numerous applications, from consumer electronics to electric transportation. Amprius has exciting technology and strong scientific and commercial leadership. I look forward to advising Amprius’ development of silicon-based anodes, advanced cathodes, and next-generation batteries.”

Earlier this month Amprius secured $30 million funding.

Amprius CEO Kang Sun commented:

“Amprius is currently sampling and selling high-energy density batteries. We are delighted that former Energy Secretary Steven Chu is joining Amprius’ Board of Directors. Dr. Chu is a world-renowned scientist and leader whose ideas and experience will help Amprius accelerate the development of even higher-energy batteries.”

Dr. Yi Cui, Amprius Co-Founder, Board Member, and Stanford University Professor, remarked:

“Dr. Chu will bring incredible intellectual horsepower, vision, and experience to Amprius. I am thrilled to have him on board.”

We too are thrilled to see Dr. Chu back in action.

Categories: Battery Tech, General


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13 Comments on "Former Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu Joins Battery Maker Amprius"

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I hope they break the code and deliver a great battery.

But with all battery stories, I’m extremely skeptical.

“Intellectual horsepower” haha.

Maybe intellectual kilowatts.

Veddy interesting….

From Dr. Chu’s resignation letter to the DOE:
“The DOE will continue to support the fuel cell program. I think in the last year or two, I have been saying this is an important technology and we want to continue to support the research. Fuel cells can be incredibly reliable. There are many fuel cells in buses that have been running in buses for ten year, rock solid. But our target is a $20,000 personal vehicle that can compete with a 45- or even 50-mile-per-gallon internal combustion car.” –

See more at:

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

That’d require a 100kW fuel cell for $4-5k, or 4-5 cents per Watt.

Unless they figure out how to make fuel cells out of silicon, I doubt that’s happening anytime soon :/

There are two kinds of politicians; those that are elected and those who are appointed; as an appointed politician at DOE, no doubt, Chu was carrying out political policy orders from the President on energy matters.

If he could free himself from the politics and act as a free-will scientist, I wonder what he really thinks…but, alas, we will never know because he has been badly tainted by the politics.

>90 % of unproven battery start-ups are BS, but this indeed gives more credibility. We have also Aquion that is also promising. Aquion could deliver cheap grid storage batteries to EV supercharging stations to level out the spikiness of electricity demand.

Or perhaps this is bad news for Ampirius, because attracting high profile persons such as Chu, can enormously increase the value of Vapor that Ampirius is trying to sell investors.

Chu’s intellectual judgement skill has been proven previously as unreliable, because his involvement on fuel cells. We know that fuel cells are mindboggingly stupid idea. Hence, from syllogism we can estimate Chu’s intelligence. 😉

Thanks for your detailed critique of fuel cell technology.
But then, you know all about it because your hero, Musk has said it is so, and he is infallible.
Perhaps what is mind-bogglingly stupid is to take the word for it of someone who has battery vehicles for sale, and can’t do fuel cell vehicles.

Toyota, Hyundai and Honda on the other hand can if they wish produce battery electric vehicles, but have chosen fuel cells as the better option.

You are obviously better qualified than their engineers and chemists though, and what is more you have a salesman’s word on an alternative.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Fuel cells of any variety don’t make sense for automotive unless they’re at most 10 cents per Watt. AFAIK the lowest-cost variety these days is more like $1-2/Watt.

H2 fuel cells make even less sense.

When Toyota, GM, Hyundai, etc. can get SOFCs down to 10 cents/Watt, I’ll start paying attention, otherwise it’s just CAFE bulls–t.

BTW, nobody’s building a 12-figure H2 distribution infrastructure. They’ll piggyback H2 reformulators on existing gasoline or natural gas lines. Which would be fine IFF the line-to-wheel efficiency is on the order of 50-60%, or at least 16-20kWh per gallon of gasoline.

Dave, if Elon Musk is the one you’re referring to as “you have a salesman’s word on an alternative” you’re really getting desperate.

The man creates spacecraft that dock at the International space station.

You’re really shredding your credibility.

Ignoring the fuel cell noise, in general this is a “glam” board assignment. In simple words, they bought him to make themselves look good. As a board member he will contribute zero to the technology. His only purpose is to make the company seem more credible and open doors to the governmental feeding trough. I predict this company is on a Solyndra path: crash and burn and take as many public dollars with them as they can.

Praising Chu is how we can know they are idiots because Chu is the idiot who said batteries need 7 times higher energy density before they can compete with combustion engine cars.
He is the guy who saw no need for a national network of fast chargers. He’s the I***t who couldn’t envision a fossil free power grid even 40 years from now. He is he I***t who did nothing.