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Posted on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Request points to possible Ann Arbor expansion for University of Michigan battery startup Sakti3

By Nathan Bomey

Ann Arbor-based startup battery firm Sakti3 is considering an expansion that would involve the acquisition of a tax abatement at a property within the city's borders, officials said.

Ann Marie Sastry.JPG

Sakti3 CEO Ann Marie Sastry

Angela J. Cesere |

A real estate firm in negotiations with Sakti3 has requested that City Council establish an industrial development district at 1490 Eisenhower Place. That's a required legal precursor to an official tax abatement request, which generally accompanies an expansion or business investment.

Sakti3, a University of Michigan spinoff, is developing next-generation solid-state lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and other uses. The company has attracted venture capital from high-profile investors, including Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures, the Farmington Hills office of global investment firm Beringea and General Motors Ventures, the automaker's investment arm.

Sakti3 CEO Ann Marie Sastry did not respond to a request for comment. Officials from the McMullen Co., which owns the Eisenhower Place property, also did not return calls.

The battery firm has been headed toward a pilot battery production project, although it's unclear if it's reached that phase. The company is headquartered at offices on Victors Way in Ann Arbor, about 1/2-mile west Eisenhower Place near Eisenhower and Boardwalk.

Among Sakti3's backers is the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which gave the company a $3 million Centers of Energy Excellence grant and a $2.3 million tax credit tied to hire 112 workers over several years as the company transitions into battery production.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Wed, Feb 16, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

We looked at office space there twice -- once in 2000 and again when we recently moved from Avis Farms. Suffice it to say, they're going to need a tax abatement. Good luck with your expansion, Sakti3!


Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

I am reasearching on a new battery concept in my backyard. Can I get waiver on my property taxes too?


Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

Let's see now, GM has grants to build a battery plant, Ford has grants to build a battery plant and Chrysler has grants to build a battery plant. How many more battery plants and research projects do we need? And that's not even counting the several projects in Indiana or the ones sold off - which also got 100s of millions to do battery research and battery development. Whatever happened to the billions available to the UM to lead the consortium of universities to research electric vehicles? At some point - it gets a little ludicrous, and unaffordable. Sooner or later private enterprise had better start paying its own way. But, as old as I am, it won't be in my lifetime. And it probably won't ever happen again. In the words of GM in 1979: "GM Chairman Thomas A. Murphy has attacked federal help for Chrysler as "a basic challenge to the philosophy of America." ... Apparently he was right.


Tue, Feb 15, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

What makes Sakti3 so special that they think that they shouldn't have to pay Ann Arbor Tax like other businesses? Maybe everybody should ask for an TAX Abatement until the economy picks up!