Eastman Kodak – yep, the analog photography products company – has taken a minority stake in Wildcat Discovery Technologies (Wildcat), a technology company developing new battery materials.
Wildcat says it is developing an EV “super cell” designed to provide a greater than 90% improvement in energy density over today’s best batteries, and Kodak’s investment will be used to support more rapid development of the new technology, with the goal of having the “super cell” ready for commercialization in two years.
Kodak has also entered into an agreement to provide coating and engineering services in collaboration with Wildcat to develop and scale film coating technologies which are critical for the safety and reliability of the next generation of EV battery technology. Wildcat has granted Kodak certain rights to negotiate a production or licensing arrangement with Wildcat when and if Wildcat’s technology reaches commercial readiness.
Kodak says this investment represents the continued expansion of its Advanced Materials & Chemicals group as it capitalizes on its expertise in coating technology, developed over decades of film manufacturing, to pursue opportunities in the growing battery market. Over the past several years, Kodak has been using its pilot coating facility to coat materials on substrates for EV/energy storage batteries and fuel cells for a variety of customers.
Kodak is expanding the capacity and capability of this pilot facility with a new small-scale coating machine that will be fully operational in early 2023. In addition, the company has announced it has repurposed a full‐scale production coating machine to manufacture coated substrates for cathode and anode assembly in the EV/energy storage battery market. Kodak has begun providing coated material to a battery manufacturer and is in the process of ramping production levels, the maximum capacity of which is up to 80 million square meters per year.