Ethium is a ground up effort from EControls that combines emerging lithium-ion technology with innovative design architecture and control strategy to deliver unmatched performance and safety. The company’s products are designed specifically for material handling and other demanding applications making Ethium the new industry standard and paving the way for large scale adoption of lithium-ion technology. 

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and it’s activities.

Ethium by EControls offers lithium-ion batteries designed to cater to an array of material handling applications. Our batteries are known for their high energy density, long life cycles, and robust performance, along with our 5 Sustainable Advantages which include Active Heating, Active Cooling, Active Balancing, Active Safety, Passive Safety. Our batteries are designed with a modular approach, which allows for easy scaling, and they incorporate multiple layers of safety protections, including overcurrent protection, short circuit protection, and thermal shutdown mechanisms. These features ensure that our batteries operate safely even under extreme conditions.

We are a vertical integrated facility in San Antonio, Texas, and by controlling the entire production process, from design and development to manufacturing and testing, we can ensure the highest standards of quality and reliability. This integration allows us to be more agile and responsive to market demands, reducing lead times and improving delivery schedules. Additionally, having our manufacturing operations in-house enables us to maintain strict quality control and facilitates better collaboration between our engineering and production teams. 

E.E: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Ethium mainly focuses within the warehousing, cold storage and food distribution, and ground support equipment, sectors. 

Our batteries offer high energy density and long-life cycles, making them ideal for powering various types of electric forklifts. These batteries not only enhance the performance and efficiency of the equipment but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of operations. Moreover, the advanced Battery Management System (BMS) integrated into Ethium’s batteries ensures optimal performance and safety, providing peace of mind to operators who rely on this equipment for critical ground support tasks. 

One of the standout features of our battery technology is the Active Heating technology, which is particularly beneficial in cold storage environments. Cold storage facilities and blast freezers often expose batteries to extremely low temperatures, which can negatively impact their performance and lifespan. Ethium’s Active Heating technology addresses this issue with a sophisticated design that includes strategically placed heaters. Specifically, three individual heaters are placed on each battery cell, ensuring proper and uniform heating within cold environments, preventing the internal temperature from dropping to levels that could degrade the battery’s performance. This technology not only prevents performance degradation but also significantly extends the life of the battery, making it a reliable choice for cold storage and food distribution operations. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products/services?

The E-Link IoT device serves as the central hub for monitoring and managing battery performance, providing users with real-time data and insights into their energy systems. Given its importance, ensuring that E-Link is always up to date with the latest features and data enhancements is a top priority. Through our Over The Air (OTA) infrastructure, we can deploy new features, performance optimizations, and security patches to E-Link without any interruption to service. This keeps the system running smoothly but also enhances its functionality over time, adding new capabilities that benefit our users.

The ability to implement changes remotely also means that we can respond swiftly to customer feedback. We value the input of our users and see it as a vital component of our innovation process. By listening to their needs and experiences, we can make targeted improvements that directly address their concerns and enhance their overall experience with our products. This customer-centric approach ensures that our software evolves in ways that are truly beneficial to those who use it.

E.E: What are the ranges of products/services?

We offer a wide range of UL Listed battery models to cater to different types of electric equipment and various operational needs. Our product line includes 24V, 36V, 48V, 72V, and 80V models, available in multiple sizes and weights. One of the most notable aspects of Ethium’s sales process is our hands-on approach during demos, which includes the analysis of specific requirements of the customer’s equipment, including factors like weight distribution, energy consumption patterns, and duty cycles. Based on this assessment, our engineering teams recommend the most suitable battery option, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. Our applications team drives the installation, making the transition to Ethium batteries seamless.

Another key aspect of our battery solutions is our OEM approval. This approval is crucial because it signifies that Ethium’s batteries have been tested and validated by the manufacturers of electric forklifts, ensuring compatibility and optimal performance which can simplify the purchasing process.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

The material handling market in North America is experiencing robust growth, driven by the expansion of the e-commerce sector, the increasing demand for automation, and the need for efficient supply chain management. This growth is fueled by the rising adoption of advanced technologies in material handling processes. These technologies enhance operational efficiency, reduce labor costs, and improve overall productivity, making them highly attractive to businesses across various industries.

Additionally, the increased focus on sustainability and energy efficiency is driving the shift from traditional lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries in material handling equipment. Lithium-ion batteries offer several advantages, including longer lifespan, faster charging times, and lower maintenance requirements, which contribute to reduced operational costs and higher efficiency. The growth of the material handling market in North America is also supported by government initiatives and investments in infrastructure development, further boosting the demand for advanced material handling equipment and technologies.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

One of the primary factors is the increasing demand for energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions. Lithium-ion batteries offer numerous advantages over traditional lead-acid batteries, including longer lifespans, faster charging times, and higher energy density, which translates to increased productivity and reduced downtime. Moreover, the push for automation and advanced fleet management systems in warehouses and distribution centers is enhancing the appeal of lithium-ion technology due to its compatibility with smart charging solutions and real-time battery monitoring. The initial higher investment cost of lithium-ion batteries is being offset by their lower total cost of ownership, as they require less maintenance and have a longer operational life. These trends are expected to drive substantial growth in the adoption of lithium-ion batteries in the material handling sector, as companies seek to optimize efficiency and sustainability in their operations.

E.E: What are the most innovative products/services marketed?

Ethium has consistently been at the forefront of innovation in the battery technology industry, and one of their most groundbreaking advancements is the E-Link IoT device. E-Link has garnered significant recognition, including a nomination for MODEX’s Innovation Award in 2024, underscoring its transformative potential in the material handling industry.

E-Link connects the batteries to an online portal through a robust and reliable dual-cell/satellite connection. One of the standout features of E-Link is its ability to provide real-time intelligence 24/7. Our engineering departments are on standby, ready to offer one-click access to the health and performance metrics of each battery. Key metrics provided by E-Link include the state of charge, operation time, charge time, and temperature of the battery modules. And with Ethium’s 5 Sustainable Advantages, customers can rest assured their equipment is operating smoothly. By having access to this data, fleet managers can make informed decisions that optimize the use of their equipment. 

Moreover, E-Link provides valuable insights into the operational patterns of the fleet. Data on operation time can reveal usage trends, helping managers identify which equipment is used most frequently and which might be underutilized. This information can inform decisions about asset allocation, ensuring that the fleet is used efficiently and that no single piece of equipment is overworked. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2024?

The industry continues to experience significant growth year after year, and we don’t expect 2024 to be an exception to the trend. With one of the largest material handling shows being held at the beginning of the year, end-users were able to learn more about the market’s offerings and become more impowered to make informed decisions for their business’s material handling needs. Due to the nature of the industry, and the length of the decision-making process, we expect to maintain this growth level throughout the end of the year.