Gridtential thinks the OG rechargeable battery chemistry is ripe for disruption

Lithium-ion batteries are one of the driving forces behind the transition away from fossil fuels, but the rechargeable battery that started it all — lead-acid — has received very little attention.

Invented over 160 years ago, lead-acid batteries have been upgraded a few times, but today’s cells are largely unchanged from those sold in the ’70s and ’80s. Gridtential, a Santa Clara-based startup, is betting there’s plenty of room for improvement. It’s developed a silicon plate that can replace up to 35% of the lead in a traditional battery while improving its charging rate fivefold and quadrupling its lifespan.

Gridtential today announced partnerships with two players in the lead-acid market, Hammond Group, which makes battery materials and additives, and Wirtz Manufacturing, which makes equipment to deposit battery material on a substrate.