President & Founder of KPM Power
Getting cleantech innovations to market can be challenging. KPM Power’s Battery Management Systems are helping to remove major barriers to electrification.
When Karen Lai established KPM Power in 2017, getting lithium batteries to market was a huge challenge. “Dealing with lithium is a very expensive process and a lot of the government funding was being cut at the time,” says the President & Founder of KPM Power, a Canadian company specializing in customized lithium-ion battery solutions. Wanting to help get cleantech companies and alternative energy products to market, she eventually settled on battery management systems (BMS) as the quickest and most affordable way. BMS is an electronic system of hardware and software that monitors and controls the state and performance of the battery.
Only Canadian company with a UL1973 and UL2580 certified BMS
KPM Power’s Anzen line of BMS has a key feature for allowing customization for various applications and battery types and is approved for chemistries ranging from lithium to nickel zinc. This year it received UL1973 and UL2580 certifications for safety for stationary applications (back-up power, off-grid power, vehicle auxiliary power and light electric rail applications) and moving electric vehicles, respectively. Being the only Canadian company to have both certifications not only eases KPM Power’s own entry to the North American market, but also that of its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers. “It will also open the door to a lot of OEMs out there because it simplifies the certification process and makes it easier for them to get their cleantech to market,” says Lai.
Being a female founded and run company, KPM is eager to support young women and girls in pursuing the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields through hackathons and bursaries. “Right now, girls make up only about 20% of enrolment in STEM programs, so we’re working to help more girls join STEM fields,” says Lai.