California issues $3 million grant for resilient ultra-fast EV charging


The California Energy Commission has awarded a $3 million grant towards the pairing of energy storage with an electric vehicle fast charging system.

The grant has been awarded to Natron Energy as part of the Advanced Energy Storage for Electric Vehicle Charging Support initiative.

Natron will use the funds to manufacture and install a high powered, long cycle life energy storage system at an EV fast charging station at the University of California in San Diego. 

The project is expected to result in a cost-competitive, at-scale alternative to Li-ion batteries, and offer superior performance for the high-power/short-duration dispatch and long cycle life requirements of the EV fast charging market.

Natron’s technology uses Prussian Blue pigment which stores and releases energy in the form of sodium ions.

Unlike electrode materials found in most Lithium-ion batteries, Prussian blue is economical, safe, and environmentally friendly.

The solution provider claims its technology will help address:

  • Expensive utility distribution upgrade and customer interconnection costs at higher concentration and charging levels
  • High and uncertain customer bills with demand charges
  • Maximizing the number and level of chargers at each site given escalating customer acquisition and site preparation costs.

The grant is part of efforts by California to meet its goal of 5 million EVs by 2030.

Janea Scott, vice chair at the energy commission, said the “… EPIC research programme accelerates innovative technologies to drive the scale of change needed to address the serious impacts of climate change.

“Projects like Natron Energy’s sodium-ion battery system, which pairs energy storage with electric vehicle infrastructure, can help smartly integrate vehicles with no tailpipe pollution into the electric grid.”