From pv magazine USA
Our Next Energy (ONE) has secured US$65 million (AU$88 million) in a funding round led by BMW i Ventures to scale up its electric vehicle business. The funds add to a US$25 million (AU$34) Series A funding round in October that was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
ONE has signed contracts with four automakers and has a five-year, 25GWh energy storage pipeline. This equates to 300,000 electric vehicles, it said. It noted that the latest round of funding will help it begin the site selection process for its first US-based battery factory. It said it will also accelerate R&D in Michigan and San Francisco.
In January, ONE created a proof-of-concept device with 732 miles (1178 kilometres) of range. In another pilot, the company paired a Tesla Model S with an experimental battery with 203.7kWh and an energy density of 416Wh/L. The battery was able to power the Model S at 88km/h for 882 miles (1420 km) on a single charge, as validated by third-party testing.
“ONE’s core principles of doubling the range, decreasing the cost of the batteries and creating a local supply chain, resonated strongly with us at BMW i Ventures,” said Baris Guzel, partner at BMW i Ventures. “ONE’s battery factory in the US is an important step for the larger electric vehicle value chain, and ONE has the potential to truly transform the ecosystem.”
The company builds lithium-ferro-phosphate batteries, which don’t need earth-rare cobalt, said ONE. It currently has two proof-of-concept battery models: the Aries and the larger Gemini, which was used in the Tesla demonstration. ONE said it will begin Aries production in late 2022, and will demonstrate a production-level prototype of Gemini in 2023.
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