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Man makes building better batteries his business

DAVIDSON – Martin Koebler, of Davidson, began experimenting with lithium batteries in 1990, when he built a solar car to race across Australia.

Since then, Koebler has been working to find ways lithium batteries can replace traditional car batteries and gas generators.

The electrical engineer has worked as a consultant on projects like the new electric Ford Focus, for which he designed five prototype batteries. He has also worked with the creator of the Segway.

But now, with his own company Stark Power, Koebler is creating small lithium batteries for motorcycles and ATVs, and batteries built for energy storage.

The small lithium batteries for motorcycles took about a year and a half to develop, are a fraction of the size of traditional batteries and have a much longer lifespan.

“It’s also more environmentally friendly because it’s made with no heavy metals,” he said.

Koebler’s other big project is an energy storage case that contains lithium cells and plates that act as a battery and a generator.

“I have a smaller case I created for a military client that is connected to run the communication equipment and reduces the use of gas generators,” Koebler said.

Brian Richardson, an attorney and sheep farmer in Virginia, knows first-hand what a huge difference Koebler’s battery storage packs make in performance.

A few years ago, Richardson decided to build an electric motorcycle and race it in some of the biggest races in the country.

When building the bike, Richardson said he was looking for an East Coast developer he could work closely with and that’s when he met Koebler.

The two worked together with a small team and built the bike they entered into a worldwide competition called TTXGP, the leading event for electric motorcycle racing.

Richardson said Koebler’s battery pack was the perfect fit and contributed in them ranking second nationally in 2011.

“And we held the land speed record for the East Coast in 2011,” Richardson said.

It helped they had a seasoned rider, but he said the magic was in the quality batteries.
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