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This Startup Developed a Promising New Battery Material—and a Novel Survival Strategy

Kenan Sahin made $1.5 billion on his first company. Now he’s using his resources and experience to advance lithium-ion cathodes, propel electric vehicles, and help other battery startups succeed. As Kenan Sahin walks through the labs at Tiax, an energy technology development firm located along Boston’s tech beltway, he points to a row of little muffle furnaces in a small beige room. The company’s researchers use the ovens to heat mixtures of metals, producing slight variations of a nickel-rich cathode recipe that Sahin believes will improve the energy density, cycle life, and price of lithium-ion batteries.

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