SAN DIEGO – South 8 Technologies (“South 8”), the first to develop and commercialize LiGas®, liquefied gas electrolyte for advanced lithium-ion batteries, appointed industry veteran Tom Stepien as chief executive officer. Tom will apply more than 35 years of business, technology and energy industry leadership to drive South 8’s growth and expand commercial markets for its unique LiGas product that solves the “fire and ice”™ limitations experienced in conventional lithium-ion batteries. He also joins the South 8 Board of Directors.
Tom has a deep understanding of battery and energy systems, having co-founded and led Primus Power, a long duration stationary battery company, and served as CEO with QM Power, a firm focused on electric vehicle motors and energy efficient controllers. He is also a Director at Euro Manganese [TSX-V and ASX: EMN; OTCQX: EUMNF; FRA: E06], a lithium-ion battery materials company focused on the electric vehicle industry.
“Tom brings the operational leadership and experience that will take South 8 to the next stage in our growth,” commented South 8 Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Cyrus Rustomji, who served as the company’s CEO since 2016. “We are excited to have him join. His addition will allow the founding team to continue to innovate and push product development to our growing customer base.”
“South 8 was founded by a strong technical team who brought a novel technology to an industry needing a breakthrough,” stated Tom. “I am honored to be a part of the company. The innovative LiGas electrolyte solves important pain points in the robust lithium-ion battery market: notably, fire risk and depleted energy at low temperatures. We solve these twin ‘fire and ice’ problems. LiGas works with graphite and silicon anodes, and a variety of cathode chemistries. Compared to conventional liquid electrolytes, LiGas has improved conductivity and better kinetics to enable fast charging. Commercial customers are actively testing our product. Earlier this year ARPA-E awarded us $3.2M to develop high-energy, low-cost and cobalt-free lithium nickel manganese oxide cells. The U.S. Army is funding further innovation. There is a lot to like about South 8.”
Prior to entering the battery space, Tom spent thirteen years at Applied Materials, the global leader in providing innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. He received BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a co-inventor of eleven U.S. and international battery patents. Tom previously served on the Board of Special Olympics Northern California for ten years.
South 8 will be exhibiting in booth #615 at the upcoming Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) to be held in San Diego, December 11-14, 2023.
About South 8 Technologies
South 8 solves lithium-ion’s “fire and ice”™ problems with LiGas®, a patented liquefied gas electrolyte. LiGas reduces lithium-ion fire risk and operates from -60 to 60°C, enabling clean battery power to more applications, environments and people. The San Diego-based company has been granted 23 patents across seven countries and jurisdictions. South 8 investors include Anzu Partners, LG Technology Ventures, Shell Ventures, Foothill Ventures, Taiyo Nippon Sanso and Lockheed Martin Ventures.