OKC company wants to be Amazon or iTunes of high-performance batteries
By Brian Brus
Copyright © 2015 The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – Dirk Spiers wants to become to battery services what Amazon.com is to books and iTunes is to music.
It’s a matter of establishing a new niche before anyone else even dreams up the idea, the founder of Spiers New Technologies Inc. said. Recent developments in high-performance batteries have afforded him such an opportunity in Oklahoma City.
Spiers’ company performs battery life cycle management services for advanced storage packs typically used in automobiles and solar energy storage cells, including grading and remanufacturing when necessary. Applying his proprietary algorithms, SNT employees might determine a Chevy Volt battery, for example, isn’t quite strong enough for traffic anymore and downgrade it for some other use. And if a battery has come to the end of its life, the company can also dismantle it for safe disposal and recycling.
“The company is establishing a name for itself very quickly with OEMs like General Motors,” he said, referring to original equipment manufacturers who are his primary clients. “Advanced battery packs are a valuable technology.
“We are leaders in this concept,” he said. “I don’t know of anyone else who is doing what we’re doing yet, and I aim to keep it that way.”
He opened the 24,000-square-foot facility at 50 NE 42nd St. just eight months ago and already has plans for expansion. Another 15,000 square feet will likely be added in the next few months, Spiers said. He has about 15 employees.
One of the products driving his growth is an energy storage system he’s manufacturing that can produce about 40 kilowatt-hours of electricity, appropriate as a mobile charging station for automobiles. Spiers said he is in the middle of a contract with Lincoln Motor Co. to make five more.
Spiers said that his company has been largely self-funded, with help from family and friends. That’s about to change with an infusion of funds from private investors worth several million dollars. Spiers would not divulge details of the negotiations, which are expected to close before September.
“The thing is, all the other big companies you can think of like Amazon or Facebook is that they started their segments of the market before they even existed,” he said. “Everything is about timing in life. I think we might just have been lucky enough to find that right time when it comes to batteries. We couldn’t have done this earlier before the technology; we can’t afford to wait and do it later.”