Michigan-based startup Our Next Energy (ONE) has closed a $25 million Series A for tech that it says can double the range of EVs, as more and more startups take aim at surpassing the pitfalls of conventional lithium-ion batteries.
The 15-month-old company managed to attract major investors, including Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which led the round. Assembly Ventures, BMW i Ventures (German automaker BMW’s venture fund), Singapore-based Flex and Volta Energy Technologies also participated.
ONE is developing a hybrid cell-to-pack system composed of two batteries: the Aries, a cobalt-free battery that the company says avoids fire risk from thermal runaway; and a battery range extender called the Gemini, which ONE estimates will be capable of a staggering 700-mile range on a single charge.
This is significant because LFPs are an older, cheaper formula that’s conventionally viewed as less energy-dense than more powerful nickel-based battery chemistries.
ONE says its Aries battery pack has managed to increase range and reduce cost, all while avoiding the pitfalls of nickel-based batteries – namely, the reliance on scarce raw materials like nickel and cobalt.
If LFP batteries could be used as a drop-in replacement for nickel batteries, without the associated trade-offs in range and cost, it could be a game changer for the industry.
LFP batteries also tend to have a lower fire risk than nickel and cobalt chemistries, because they are more stable and require a much higher temperature to reach thermal runaway – a chain reaction that occurs when a battery cell is unable to discharge heat at the rate it’s being generated.