CellEra, an Israeli company that is developing platinum-free fuel cell technology, has announced a $9.2 million (£5.9 million) investment round led by Vodafone Ventures and Carmel Ventures. Vodafone Ventures is the global venture capital arm of Vodafone Group.
The first CellEra product is targeted at telecommunications operators, offering an affordable, clean and safe alternative to lead-acid batteries and diesel generators at locations such as cell sites.
Ori Bendori, General Partner of Carmel Ventures, said “After a long period of exploration for innovative, unique and disruptive renewable energy technologies, we believe we found all these qualities in CellEra, which is our first investment in this field. We are happy to join forces with Vodafone and the existing investors. Carmel brings to CellEra strong expertise and worldwide ecosystem in the Telecom industry which is CellEra’s target market.”
CellEra CEO Ziv Gottesfeld noted that fuel cells have been recognised as a reliable renewable power generation source, allowing mobile network operators to reduce power generation related emissions and end-of-life hazards, but wide market acceptance has been hampered by their high costs. CellEra aims to reduce these costs through the development and introduction of a new form of fuel cell technology that eliminates the need for high-cost materials and expensive hardware in the fuel cell stack.