Largo Has Big Goals, But Its Patent Shortfall Might Hold Them Back

Largo Clean Energy, a spinout of vanadium-supplier Largo, announced in June 2021 that it plans to capture at least 3% of the long-duration energy storage battery market by 2025. Largo Clean Energy was recently created in December 2020 to provide vanadium flow battery storage solutions to the renewable energy storage market. 

Largo Clean Energy’s announcement came during the company’s first battery day presentation, and while it is backed by an established vanadium supplier, it has set a lofty goal. Largo Clean Energy only holds 15 patent assets related to vanadium flow battery technology, and it is up against competitors with much larger and more diversified patent portfolios. For example, clear leader Sumitomo holds 162 patents and applications over the last three decades, and its patents are not limited to only vanadium flow batteries. Sumitomo’s patents relate to innovative cell and stack configuration, membrane structure, and various electrolytes not limited to vanadium. Largo Clean Energy’s strategy to focus on vanadium will likely be successful in the short term, but if the company hopes to capture more than 3% of the market in the future, it will likely need to diversify its flow battery technology to compete with Sumitomo and others.

Within the vanadium flow battery space, Clean Largo Energy also faces strong competition. As Patent Forecast® discussed earlier this month, the merger of RedT and Avalon Battery into Invinity has already proven successful with the new company receiving four new projects from the state of California as part of a $20 million initiative for renewable energy storage.

If Largo Clean Energy wants to meet its goal to capture 3% of the flow battery energy storage market by 2025 and even exceed that goal in the future, it will have to ensure that its patent strategy keeps pace with its competitors.

Keep up with trends in flow batteries using the Energy Storage: Flow Battery Patent Forecast®.