ArcActive was formed in 2007 to develop commercial opportunities of Assoc Prof John Abrahamson's invention: a continuous process for Arc-treating Carbon Fibre.  John was the first person to find and characterise Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) in the 1970’s and in 2000, he decided to develop a production process to manufacture high quality, low cost CNTs via a continuous arc process (all known arc methods use batch processes).  The product, today known as AACarbon, has many potential applications and following an extensive review of these, in 2008 it was decided to focus on developing an improved MHV battery as the primary commercial product.

Batteries are an important component in reducing CO2 emissions. Whether by enabling the electrification of vehicles or supporting the growing use of intermittent forms of Renewable Energy generation, batteries will play an increasingly important role in decarbonisation.

While Li-ion batteries are an important technology which has the highest growth rate in the battery industry and are the appropriate technology for Plug-In EV's, “Lead Batteries are by far the most important market with greater than 70% market share of the rechargeable battery market." (Christophe Pillot, Avicenne Energy, 2020)

Not only is the productive base for Lead Batteries massive (which is vital when considering achieving rapid deployment of carbon reducing technologies, at scale) they are inherently low cost. They are also the exemplar product for showing the way towards a true circular economy; Lead Batteries are the most recycled consumer product in the world.

However, Lead Batteries have, until now, had a technical challenge which has limited their performance in these novel applications known as Sulphation. Sulphation occurs when the battery is held at Partial State of Charge (PSoC) for extend periods of time. Sulphation is a degradation mechanism that effects the negative electrode in the Lead Battery.

ArcActive has solved the Sulphation problem by fundamentally re-engineering the negative electrode, allowing the full capability of the Lead Battery technology to be realised. This has been achieved by the use of ArcActive's proprietary technology: AACarbon.


Our success to date is built on strong partner relationships.

ArcActive believes in the value of deep and enduring partnerships and is interested in strengthening its partner network.

Since our inception, we have worked closely with trusted group of battery manufacturers, carbon fabric suppliers, technology research organizations and other industry parties interested to develop our technology.

With the support of private investors and the New Zealand Government, ArcActive has developed its core technology from a lab-scale, single cell electrodes to being applied in full-scale automotive batteries. 

In May 2018, ArcActive announced a Commercial Development Agreement with East Penn Manufacturing.  East Penn operates the largest single-site, lead battery manufacturing facility in the world at Lyon Station, Pennsylvania. It is best known for its Deka brand batteries and manufactures many other well-known brands. A private company, it employs around 9,000 people and produces millions of batteries each year for the automotive, motive power and reserve power markets globally.  For further information, refer to the press release.


Management Team

  • ArcActive Stuart McKenzie

    Stuart McKenzie

    CEO and Managing Director

    Prior to being the CEO of ArcActive, Stuart spent ten years as a partner/director of two venture capital companies and has been involved in the development of numerous technology businesses.  He is an Innovation Board member of the NZ Ministry of Science and Innovation, a Commercialising Research Action Group member, and previously a member of the NZTE Beachhead board and a council member of the NZVCA.  Prior to being a venture capital investor, Stuart had a ten year career as a professional engineer, managing a number of major engineering projects.

  • ArcActive Hassan Wong

    Hassan Wong

    CFO / COO

    Hassan has over 20 years experience in corporate finance, strategy and company accounting and administration.  After eight years in corporate advisory roles for Credit Suisse First Boston and its affiliates, more recently Hassan has undertaken senior management roles in both established international and start-up technology companies.

  • ArcActive Shane Christie

    Shane Christie

    Technical Director

    Shane is responsible for managing ArcActive’s R&D programme. Shane graduated with a B.Eng (hons) from the University of Canterbury as a Chemical Engineer, and has been with ArcActive since the company made its first electrode.

Board of Directors

  • ArcActive Bruce Munro

    Bruce Munro


    Extensive start-up and company turn-around experience.

    CEO of Flexidrill Limited, Chairman of Power Farming Holdings Limited, and Deputy Chairman of the Gallagher Group Limited.

    Ex-chairman of the New Zealand Wool Board and WRONZ (among other organisations) and previously held roles in Alliance Textiles (CEO), Hellaby Holdings (Executive Director), and Penfolds Wines NZ (General Manager).

  • ArcActive Mike Chisholm

    Mike Chisholm


    Mike has founded, led and sold two highly successful SAAS IT businesses from New Zealand, and is a director of a number of technology based start-ups.

  • ArcActive Steve Tucker

    Steve Tucker


    Steve is the Deputy CEO and Director of Gallagher Group Limited.

  • ArcActive Brendan McNeill

    Brendan McNeill


    Forty years experience in ICT holding various Engineering, Sales and Management positions with Control Data Corporation, Data General Corporation and Computer Sciences Corporation. Founding CEO, Director and Chairman of the Digiweb Group of companies.

    Managing Director of AXiiON Investments, and Chairman of Orphans Aid International.

  • ArcActive Phil Lennon

    Phil Lennon


    BE (Electrical and Electronic) Cant.
    15 Years Experience in Communications Engineering holding various positions with Telecom NZ. Founder and Managing Director of Apex Rental Cars Ltd.
    Managing Director of Steval Properties Ltd and Deerace Corporation Ltd