SFU Surrey alumni win $100K for startup that repurposes electric-vehicle batteries – Surrey Now-Leader


Moment Energy, founded by four Simon Fraser University alumni, are the lucky winners of the $100,000-prize at the 2021 national Impact Investor Challenge for their cleantech startup.

Sumreen Rattan, one of the co-founders, said the feeling of winning is “incredible,” following a two-month journey that saw Moment Energy going up against 150 other startups.

“That was already incredible working with so many different startups and to see how much talent there is in the country,” she said.

Moment Energy repurposes used electric vehicle batteries by creating energy storage systems for off-grid and industrial customers.

Rattan, Gurmesh Sidhu, Gabriel Soares and Edward Chiang have been working on Moment Energy since January 2020, after initially looking into developing a mental-health startup. But it was in December of 2019 that Rattan said they decided to “pivot.”

The team of four met while going to SFU’s mechatronics program and have “been best friends ever since,” she said.

“We ended up digging into the idea of repurposing EV batteries,” said Rattan.

“We came across this EV battery challenge and it was based in Hong Kong. That’s when we first heard that electric vehicle batteries still have an average of 80 per cent life left when they’re retired from the car, which is pretty amazing. Most people are aware of that.”

And winning the $100,000, Rattan said, is a “huge opportunity” for the company.

“There are so many electric vehicles that are coming on the road, so many batteries that are going to retire, so we decided to take it on as our startup idea.”

With the funding, she said they’re planning to expand their team, which has grown to 14 people from the four founders, and expand into a new warehouse somewhere in the Lower Mainland.

“We do want to be part of the B.C. tech ecosystem.”

She said the goal is to be recognized worldwide as a cleantech company and a battery-repurposing company, and with the hope of having all electric-vehicle batteries repurposed by 2030.

“That’s our goal and that’s what we’re striving for.”

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