ZAF Energy Systems Inc., Columbia Falls, Mont., received a strategic investment from Wirtz Manufacturing, Port Huron, Mich., to expand ZAF’s manufacturing capacity from hundreds of batteries per month to thousands of batteries per month in the ZAF Joplin, Mo., facility, which opened in 2017.

This added capacity will allow ZAF to rapidly seed the market and meet customer demand for rechargeable nickel-zinc (NiZn) batteries globally. This investment also allows licensing and joint venture partners to validate the quality and throughput of the technology for commercially-scaled factories that are expected to begin buildouts in 2019.

“We became very excited in partnering with ZAF when we experimented with the ZAF electrodes and found that we could produce plates at similar production rates as lead-acid technology after seeing the performance improvements and cost savings being delivered by nickel-zinc battery technologies, and we are proud to invest in ZAF to bring its next-generation technology to the marketplace,” says John Wirtz, chief executive officer of Wirtz Manufacturing.

“The investment from Wirtz, a respected leader and innovator in the battery industry, offers further validation of the company’s NiZn battery technology. As ZAF continues to commercialize our technology, it is vital to have a partner like Wirtz,” adds Randy Moore, president and CEO of ZAF Energy Systems. “We’re seeing our technology perform well in rigorous battery performance testing by major commercial trucking, telecommunications and large-scale data storage companies. Customers are ready to place orders as soon as our manufacturing capacity is available, and this investment will help us do that. We believe our partnership with Wirtz provides ZAF with best-in-class manufacturing equipment lines to ensure our quality is both excellent and consistent worldwide.”