Natural Resources Canada

Charging the Future Challenge

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e-Zinc has been selected as the winner of the Charging the Future Challenge!

Toronto-based e-Zinc was awarded the $1-million prize through the Charging the Future Challenge, aimed at accelerating battery innovations that have the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company developed a breakthrough electrochemical technology for storing energy in zinc metal. Its low-cost, flexible, and long-duration energy storage solution could help increase the share of the world’s energy markets powered by renewable energy.


Salient: The most important thing to know about our zinc ion battery is that it's basically just like a lithium ion battery. We've made this lithium ion substitute with materials that are far more abundant, far less expensive and intrinsically safe.

We can make the batteries that will enable renewable energy to become humanity's primary source of electricity.

e-Zinc: The difference with our technology is that we decouple power from energy, allowing us to store vast amounts of energy and therefore can deploy energy storage systems that have very long durations of energy.

GBatteries: GBatteries technology on the other side is a pulse charging protocol that enables us to charge batteries and pulses, except each and every pulse is different in size, shape and form. As we charge the battery and send a certain burst of ions into the battery, we're monitoring the traffic and adjusting accordingly.

Calogy Solutions: At Calogy solutions, we bring a technology which allows batteries to be cheaper, higher performance, safer and last longer. All the while being charged quicker than a normal battery would be.

Agora: The Canadian company invented and is developing the first large scale, long duration energy storage flow battery technology that uses carbon dioxide as an active battery material.

Canadian Finalists

Five finalist teams were selected from a group of 39 project proposals received in October 2019. Each team received up to $700k to develop their technology prototype in preparation for the $1 million Grand Prize announcement in Spring 2022.

On February 24th, NRCan hosted a virtual finalist showcasing and panelist event for the Charging the Future and Power Forward Challenges. The five Charging the Future finalists were able to show off their impressive developments achieved through the duration of the Challenge to potential stakeholders and investors. The panelist discussion, focused on accelerating clean electrification in Canada, was hosted by Bruce Lourie (President, Ivey Foundation) and featured panelists Neetika Sathe (VP GRE&T Centre, Alectra), Susan Rohac (VP Clean Tech Practice, BDC), Giles Counsell (Managing Consultant, Siemens Canada) and Sandra Odendahl (VP and Global Head of Sustainability, Scotiabank). You can watch the panel discussion here (available in English only).

Agora Energy Technologies Ltd.

Vancouver, British Columbia agora team photo

Agora Energy Technologies Ltd. is an innovative electrochemical engineering company that provides solutions for the next generation of energy technologies.

Their proprietary technologies aim to create a bridge between industrial CO2 emitters, renewable power generators, and utility providers.

Located in Vancouver, BC, Agora is developing a ground-breaking non-metal battery technology package that uses industrially-captured CO2 to store electricity. This enables an efficient integration of clean energy at grid and micro-grid levels while reducing CO2 emissions.

Calogy Solutions’

Sherbrooke, Québec of people from Calogy Solutions' team

Calogy Solutions’ mission is to solve the most complex thermal challenges in electric transport.

Based in Sherbrooke, QC, they are collaborating with the Université de Sherbrooke and the Centre de technologies avancées BRP to address the decreased performance of battery-powered vehicles in cold-weather.

This project will bring to market novel thermal management technologies that will insulate the battery pack when it needs to be heated, and efficiency cool the battery during fast charging or peak power. The technology also aims to maximize the battery lifespan and safety using uniform temperature regulation and intelligent prediction of battery health, using data and AI.


Toronto, Ontario eZinc team photo

e-Zinc is a Toronto, ON-based energy storage company with a breakthrough technology that “metallizes energy” – storing energy in zinc metal.

This ultra-low-cost and long-duration energy storage solution would allow the world’s energy markets to be 100% supplied by renewable energy, enabling a zero- carbon energy future.

e-Zinc’s technology can provide energy storage at a lower cost than current options in the marketplace. It can deliver energy for multiple days, it’s fire resistant, and is completely recyclable/reusable.


Ottawa, Ontario of people from GBatteries team

GBatteries is a battery technology company from Ottawa, ON on a mission to charge electric vehicles (EVs) as fast as it takes to fill a tank of gas.

Operating at the intersection of artificial intelligence, electrochemistry, and high-power electronics, they have demonstrated technology capable of ultra-fast charging lithium-ion batteries without compromising battery lifespan or changing the chemistry.

By applying this technology to the lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing process, GBatteries is able to revolutionize a key manufacturing step – the formation. This significantly reduces costs and improves various performance parameters of the battery cells.

Salient Energy

Dartmouth, N.S salient team photo

Salient Energy is a Dartmouth, N.S.-based start-up that has spent the past three years developing their cutting edge zinc-ion battery – a lower-cost alternative to lithium-ion for applications where lifetime cost and safety are more important than weight.

Designed for stationary energy storage, their battery is water-based, eliminating any risk of fire. It is made entirely of materials that are abundant, non-toxic, and completely recyclable.

Salient is developing a battery that can be rapidly scaled-up and deployed because of its compatibility with current battery-manufacturing processes.

Challenge details

Who can apply?

  • For-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as companies, industry associations and research centres
  • Canadian post-secondary institutions
  • Indigenous organizations and groups

Key dates

  • October 28, 2019: deadline to submit applications
  • Spring 2020: Top five finalists announced
  • October 2021: Prototype submission deadline
  • February 24, 2022: Showcase and Panelist Event
  • March 30, 2022: Final Grand Prize Winner Announced