Clean Energy | July 13, 2021

Race for better lithium batteries accelerates with two big raises

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 13 – Batteries are big as startups and investors bet on the low-carbon energy transition. SES, based near Boston, scored $100 million from Hyundai Motor Co. to develop an alternative to traditional solid-state lithium-ion batteries that it says is safer, faster-charging and offers longer-lasting power between charges. Hyundai’s investment follows SES’s partnership with GM.

Also, large-scale battery manufacturer Verkor, based in Grenoble, France, raised €100 million ($118.6 million) from Schneider Electric, EIT InnoEnergy, the French government and others. Verkor is building an industrial-scale production facility for traditional lithium-ion batteries. The company plans to build a gigafactory that will produce batteries for 300,000 electric vehicles annually.

Battery race

Stockholm-based Northvolt raised $2.7 billion for its EV battery gigafactory; it is partnering with Volkswagen.

BMW and Ford recently backed Colorado-based Solid Power, a solid-state battery developer; the company is planning to go public via a special purpose acquisition company. ESS Tech, QuantumScape, FREYER and Microvast are also part of the battery-tech SPAC trend.

Boston-based Clean Energy Ventures backed several new battery-tech ventures, including Volexion, which is making a protective coating for batteries, and Nth Cycle, which is boosting mineral recovery from discarded batteries and electronics.