A battery company boasting former SpaceX and Apple engineers just released their first product

Romeo power battery packsRomeo PowerThe Saber comes in black, blue, and red.
  • Romeo Power is a Los-Angeles-based startup that says its battery tech can rival Tesla.
  • The startup says it has battery design contracts with five major automakers.
  • On Thursday, Romeo Power unveiled its first battery pack for consumers.

Romeo Power says its battery tech is ready for the primetime.

Romeo Power is a Los-Angeles-based startup that has mostly flown under the radar. Launched in 2016, the startup says its claim to fame is that their battery packs yield 25% more energy density than comparable ones on the market, allowing them to hold more power and charge faster.

Like many companies, Romeo Power buys its battery cells from LG Chem and Samsung. But Romeo Power CEO Michael Patterson says the startup packages those cells in a way that its packs can ultimately rival those built by Tesla.

It’s a bold claim, but Romeo Power points to the many elite engineers it has at its disposal, who hail from Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Tesla, and SpaceX. Consumers will finally get a chance to see how Romeo Power’s tech fares when Saber, its portable battery, goes on sale on Black Friday.

Saber is a 2.2-pound battery that’s roughly the size of a water bottle. It can hold 86 watt-hours of power, which Romeo Power said is enough to charge a laptop twice. It comes with a Variable AC, USB-C, and two USB ports, so it can charge just about anything.

It costs $US199 to pre-order and will retail for $US299 on Amazon, putting it on the pricier side for battery packs. Romeo Power says it’s FAA- and TSA-approved.

The Saber will allow consumers to get a real look at what Romeo Power is all about. Up until Romeo Power’s Saber announcement last Thursday, the startup has focused on forging commercial partnerships.

It says it has design contracts with five of the six biggest automakers, but Patterson declined to say which ones. The company has raised $US40 million in funding to-date.

“Tesla has been the benchmark, so how do automakers compete,” Patterson said in an interview. “Well, they typically call us.”

Correction: a previous version of this story said the Saber holds 8.6 watt-hours of power.

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