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Schwarzenegger-Backed Battery Startup Ratchets Up Tesla Fight

  • Austria’s Kreisel Electric technology claims 65% battery boost
  • Battery improvements now coming at “hugely dynamic” rate
Photographer: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist/Bloomberg

Kreisel Electric GmbH, an Austrian startup that made waves by going toe-to-toe with Tesla Inc.’s Model S in a converted Porsche Panamera, is pushing to take its technology off the test track.

After working out of a three-door garage on attention-grabbing projects like electrifying a Porsche in Steve McQueen’s 1971 Le Mans film, the company is now moving into a 10 million-euro ($12 million) research center and battery assembly plant in Reinbach, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Innsbruck.