Cambridge battery researcher Ambri to cut 25 percent of its workforce

A liquid metal battery is assembled at Ambri.
A liquid metal battery is assembled at Ambri.

Ambri Inc., an MIT spinout that has spent years creating efficient batteries that use liquid metal electrodes, will cut a quarter of its workforce because of developmental delays.

The company cut 14 workers as a result of the slowdown, according to an e-mail from Phil Giudice, Ambri’s chief executive. Despite promising results in tests over the past year, the company’s high-temperature seal for its liquid metal battery “did not perform sufficiently well” under tests conducted this summer.

“Ambri’s board and investors share our disappointment that progress has not happened more quickly or easily, but fully understands the accomplishments we have achieved, the challenges we face and Ambri‘s potential,” Giudice said. “The market opportunity for grid-scale energy storage is large, growing and global. Bringing new scientific discoveries in the physical sciences to commercial success is hard; the process is not entirely knowable or amenable to predictable timelines.”

The company, which was formerly known as LMBC, has worked since at least 2011 to create industrial-scale batteries that store energy in hot, liquid metal electrodes. Its investors include Bill Gates and the French oil company Total. Giudice said the company’s technology “continues to perform exceptionally well” in in-house tests, storing energy at a low cost without losing their capacity.