The Unlimiting Factor: Jordan Giesige
A conversation with the prolific YouTuber, and updates from around the battery interwebs
We’re intercalating a profile on the man behind the amazing Limiting Factor videos explaining key battery technologies, along with other tidbits aggregated from the interwebs into your inbox. For business enquiries, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Giesige, YouTuber at The Limiting Factor
Jordan runs the YouTube channel ‘The Limiting Factor’ where he’s trying to raise the level of discourse around batteries in the general public and in the investment community. He hails from small-town Ohio but has been living in New Zealand for 16 years.
Tell us the Jordan Giesige origin story. How did you become interested in science and engineering, and more specifically in the field of batteries?
I’ve had an interest in science and engineering as early as I can remember. On the science side, my bent was always towards biology. This is probably why batteries have resonated with me. They seem like a biological system. There’s complexity at every level and that complexity is dynamic because of the interactions between energy and matter. I suppose the complexity and the interaction between matter and energy are ‘magic’ to me and provide a bit of wonder that stirs my curiosity.
On the engineering side, it was a number of things. My grandfather on my mother’s side was an engineer. It was my mom who found clever solutions to fixing things around the house. Then, my dad always had educational channels playing on topics like the SR-71 blackbird and the leaps of engineering and materials science it took. Finally, the economy of my local community was driven by agriculture and locally owned factories. It was solidly settled by Germans, with companies like ‘Crown Lift Trucks’ out of New Bremen and ‘The Minster Machine Company’. You get the picture. There was metal and machine oil in the air (quite literally sometimes).
What are you working on now, and what’s next for you?
For about the last 8 months, I’ve been grinding away on a ‘How a battery works’ video. There is still probably another month or two to go. It’s packed pretty densely. I think the battery community will be able to keep up with it, but I don’t know if the general public will, so I’m a bit nervous about how it will be received. If nothing else, it will provide a lot of great b-roll!
I’d like to do more interviews later this year. It’s a great way to get educational material out and is much less time consuming and personable than scripted content.
“The Limiting Factor” has been a roaring success, arguably the best battery YouTube channel today, and you cover a whole range of topics in battery technology ranging from battery science, company strategy, industry expert interviews. What kind of videos do you enjoy doing most, and what news in batteries today is the most interesting to you?
The videos I enjoy the most are breaking down patents. It’s where the rubber meets the road with science, engineering, economics. Overall, anything that provides ‘missing pieces’ is great. I love a good Eureka moment. At the moment I’m mostly focused on chemistries that are more conventional and already produced at gigascale, but I’d like to get more into things that are up-and-coming or further afield! For example, metallised polymer films (and their compatibility with contiguous array electrodes), pre-lithiation at gigascale, solid-state, and transition metal-free cathodes:
What do you do in your free time to “recharge your batteries”?
For about the past year, there hasn’t been a lot of recharging. That’s fairly normal for me though. I’m a busy body and would rather be doing something. My downtime is spent organising files, accounting, keeping up relationships with other YouTubers, answering questions, or doing business-related things like accounting for the channel. That should change later this year when I move back to the US though and there should be some actual leisure time. I’m usually game for anything whether that’s playing piano, rock climbing, or road trips. I really like acting classes, but they’re often difficult to find.
If our readers are interested in reaching out for advice or to learn more, how can they reach you?
LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail (email@example.com), and of course the YouTube channel!
🐦 TWEETS OF THE MONTH
We’ve been collecting #batterytwitter and #battchat moments over the past months, here is the link for February:
One of our favourite exchanges includes a deep dissection of Quantumscape’s multilayer cell announcement by Jordi Sastre, Brian Heligman, and co. Click through to read the full threads!
🎧 WHAT WE’RE READING/LISTENING TO
Wall Street Journal: The Battery Is Ready to Power the World
CoE: Pilot battery cell assembly started. A primer on cell manufacturing by Volkswagen.
The hitchhiker’s guide to navigating battery misinformation, by Varun Duggal
Big Pic Energy newsletter written by Andrian Yao, EnPower Co-Founder & CTO
Cleantechnica: Podcast on wireless EV charging with WAVE CEO
Research Interfaces: State of the art of specific energy of Li-ion cells
Tales of Invention: Li-ion battery history with Nature Energy
🚀 STARTUP MOVEMENT TRACKER
Sila Nano (California, USA) raises $590 million Series F to scale up silicon anodes
Connected Energy (UK) raises 1.2 million to upcycle end-of-life EV batteries
Power Energy (Oregon, USA) raises $100 million to build grid-scale batteries
Enevate (California, USA) raises $81 million to scale silicon anode batteries
E-magy (Netherlands) raises $5 million for silicon anode materials
Volta Energy Technologies (Illinois, USA) closes new $90m of targeted $150m investment fund
Brill Power raises (Oxford, UK) raises £2.5m seed round for intelligent battery management systems
Nyobolt (Cambridge, UK) raises £10m Series A for fast-charging batteries
Battery Smart (India) raises seed funding for battery swapping technology
Green Li-ion (Singapore) raises US$3.45 mil in seed funding for recycling
🌞 THANKS FOR READING!
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About the writers:
Andrew is a PhD researcher at the University of Oxford (@ndrewwang). Nicholas is a business manager at UCL Business supporting technology commercialization and investments in early-stage startups from UCL, and Venture Fellow with Berkeley SkyDeck (@nicholasyiu). Ethan is a battery scientist with experience at startups, research labs, and EV manufacturers across the world (@ethandalter).