‘Battery Life’ Takes on a Whole New Meaning for this Green Technology Company
LAVO is launching a portable green energy source that’s out to change lives everywhere, one battery at a time.
By Bob Snow
“Our number one goal is to kill diesel,” says Mathew Muller, Chief Marketing Officer and one of the co-founders of Australia-based tech company LAVO.
Sounds very aggressive, but once you get to know the people behind LAVO, you learn very quickly that they want to do it in the nicest (and greenest) way possible.
LAVO recently launched the world’s first integrated hybrid hydrogen battery – a green energy source that harnesses rooftop solar power, creates hydrogen from water and stores both sources of energy in its patented metal hydride battery.
“We’re ready to change the world,” says Alan Yu, CEO and co-founder of LAVO.
A GREEN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY BORN IN AUSTRALIA
LAVO was established a year ago with seed funding from investment firm Providence Asset Group, which has been working with the research fellows and scientists at the University of South Wales’ Hydrogen Energy Research Centre for the last four years to develop green energy solutions.
“We thought the technology is so good that we wanted to bring it to market as soon as possible,” says Muller. “There aren't too many times in your career, or in your life, that you get to work on something that's both fascinating and world-leading… something that’s actually going to do good for the planet.”
“We feel good about it, every day – and that just motivates us even more,” adds Yu.
In Australia, many people who live and work in remote areas must rely on diesel as their sole form of energy. “If you’re remote, and have to bring in and burn fuel all the time to keep your lights on, you’re a potential customer of LAVO,” says Muller.
“LAVO is perfectly positioned to respond to the challenges that people in remote places deal with, especially farmers. Once it’s hooked up to a solar system, the generator and storage system, it just works. Even with our smallest unit, you can potentially be off the grid from then on because it has 40 kilowatt hours of storage capacity.”
But while agricultural businesses and communities around the world are a major focus for LAVO, they’re also looking at other industries that work in remote locations as well, such as mining and telecommunications. “Telecommunication mobile towers, for example, need to be on 24/7, wherever they are. And they all have backup generators that run on diesel,” says Muller. “That’s a huge opportunity for LAVO.”
A NATURAL RESPONSE TO A RAPIDLY CHANGING ENVIRONMENT
As the world continues to experience extreme events such as floods, bushfires, hurricanes, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Muller and Yu believe the time couldn’t be better to bring LAVO to market.
“There’s been a mindset change among people,” Yu says. “Amongst all the urgency, they want to have a sense of security. They want to feel in control of their lives. They want to feel empowered. And the best thing about LAVO is that it’s a long-term solution.”
“The bushfires in Australia were devastating,” adds Muller. “There’s a sense of urgency now in the face of global warming. People feel things have to change, and we’re responding to that.”
“We use solar power,” Yu goes on to say. “And solar power is, essentially, an unlimited resource. It’s always there. We just need to harness it.”
With LAVO, energy is containerized, enabling people to keep running, or get back up and running, in a very practical way. “Unfortunately, we don't believe that the number of climate events is going to decrease anytime soon,” says Muller. “LAVO provides people with energy and power in the face of disaster, so that they can get on with life and rebuild. And, most important, do it in a way that’s 100% sustainable, without creating any further climate disaster in the future.”
EMPOWERMENT, SUSTAINABILITY AND ENJOYING LIFE
What’s in the future for LAVO?
“Well, metal hydride is quite a versatile and scalable material. Our batteries are only the first of many products we want to introduce to the market,” Yu says. “This year, we’re going to ramp up other product development and are aiming to launch a barbecue by the end of this year.”
“Yes, the barbecue is really great,” says Muller. “It produces exothermic reaction by releasing hydrogen and mixing it back with oxygen. We've got a patented catalytic bed, so it's a zero-flame kind of heat. So, national parks worried about safety with fires can permit them to be used. And of course, it's green hydrogen, so you're not burning fossil fuels at all.”
“We started LAVO with three core values in mind,” says Yu. “Empowerment, sustainability, and enjoying life.”
“When we think about empowerment, we’re thinking about how to build a better community,” he goes on to say. “We want to enable people to have access to clean, affordable, sustainable energy – particularly those who live in remote areas and who have been too dependent on fossil fuels.”
“There’s been a lot of negativity and doom and gloom in the last few years,” Muller says. “We don’t want to diminish the gravity of the climate threat. But just as important, we want people to enjoy life, and not feel they have to make major sacrifices to do so. Having access to sustainable, clean energy can help make that happen in a very real, very positive way.”
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