Yutaka Wakai Joins Blue Current as Head of Manufacturing
Company to Scale Production of Next-Gen Solid-State Battery
HAYWARD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blue Current, an innovator in solid-state battery technology, has named Yutaka Wakai as Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing. Wakai brings thirty years of experience scaling production from early stage to mass production at companies including: Panasonic, A123 Systems, Zeon, QuantumScape, 24M Technologies, and Desktop Metal. Wakai joins Blue Current following a $30 million investment from Koch Strategic Platforms to accelerate commercialization of the company’s technology and build its first megawatt-scale factory in Hayward, California.
“Yutaka’s expertise is integral to the development and production of our silicon elastic composite battery, and eventual adaptation to high volume manufacturing,” said Blue Current CEO Ben Eiref. “He will be instrumental in manufacturing validation samples to meet the demand from industry partners and customers.” Wakai will oversee the development of a 22,000-foot production-ready facility with state-of-the-art wet and dry labs, battery cycling and high-bay logistics space.
Blue Current is developing the next generation of solid-state batteries by integrating the mechanical elasticity and adhesive capabilities of polymers with the ionic conductivity of glass ceramics. This fully dry solid-state battery has the potential for maximized features of safety, temperature, performance, and scalability that would fundamentally impact energy transformation across industries.
Prior to Blue Current, Wakai was the Senior Director of Process Engineering at Desktop Metal. He has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Maizuru College of Technology, and a Bachelor and Master of Production System Engineering from Toyohashi University of Technology.
This is the second significant hire for Blue Current, after Ben Eiref joined the company as CEO from his prior role as Worldwide Head of Automotive Solutions at Amazon Web Services.
About Blue Current
Blue Current strives to provide the safest and highest performance solid-state battery storage for the new energy economy including electric vehicles, grid storage and consumer electronics. Blue Current leads with science, data and thoughtful IP across the full solid-state battery stack. The Company is based in Hayward, California. www.BlueCurrent.com @Solid_Battery