Partnerships, Funding, New Battery Products

By Battery Power Online Staff 

February 15, 2023—Company news from the battery industry this month include several recent partnerships (focused on recycling, manufacturing and expansion into Europe, and lithium-ion supply agreements), new funding, and new products.

NanoGraf has raised $65 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. The funding round was co-led by Volta Energy Technologies and CC Industries (CCI) with participation from GIC, Emerald Technology Ventures, Material Impact, Arosa Capital, Nabtesco Technology Ventures, and TechNexus. Existing investors including Hyde Park Angels, Evergreen Climate Innovations, and Goose Capital also participated in the round. The funding will be used in onshoring the company’s silicon anode production in Chicago, as well as the continued development, production and supply of advanced lithium-ion technologies. Press release.

OneCharge and Bluewater Battery Logistics, both based in California, have entered into a strategic partnership to recycle and repurpose advanced lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries—particularly Li-ion forklift batteries—at the end of useful life. With this new partnership, OneCharge offers its customers the most sustainable and responsible way to utilize their end-of-life batteries and capitalize on the advanced lithium technology to reduce waste and improve the sustainability of their operations. Press release.

Sparkion, an Israeli provider of energy storage hardware and software solutions for distributed energy resources (DER) and electric vehicle (EV) charging, has announced its North American market launch. Sparkion has developed a suite of behind-the-meter hardware and software solutions for on-site energy storage that enables commercial and industrial customers to meet EV charging needs, optimize value streams, and substantially reduce demand charges. This includes SparkCore and SparkSwitch. Sparkion plans to pursue customer acquisitions within North American commercial and industrial markets, targeting companies transitioning to electrified transportation including those who would benefit from an additional revenue stream through on-site EV charging. This includes fueling stations, retailers, fleet managers, automotive dealerships and more. Initial commercial installations in the U.S. will begin in Q1 2023. Sparkion is owned by Vontier Corporation, a leading global provider of critical technologies and solutions to the mobility ecosystem. Press release.

InoBat and Hefei Gotion High-Tech Power Energy Co. (Gotion), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore Joint Venture opportunities in revolutionizing EV battery and energy storage technologies (ESS). The strategic agreement will see InoBat benefit from Gotion’s expertise in electric storage solutions while Gotion will benefit from InoBat’s existing manufacturing sites and expansive market connections in Europe. While InoBat and Gotion will maintain their independent businesses and chemistries, by working together in mutually beneficial areas, both companies aim to devise new and exciting technologies to accelerate the global charge towards a green energy future. The companies plan to work together on several key common topics of interest including co-development of a JV gigafactory with cell and pack production capacity of 40 GWh to support EV applications, with Central and Eastern Europe being one of the regions under consideration; technical cooperation based on both sides’ respective advantages of LFP and NMC batteries; co-develop the potential for ESS battery production at existing InoBat premises in Slovakia allowing fast access to the European market; and investigation of recycling concepts for production scrap and end of life batteries. Press release.

Freudenberg e-Power Systems and LG Energy Solution have signed a multi-year contract for the supply of lithium-ion battery cell modules. With a total capacity of 19 GWh, Freudenberg is expanding its capacities to meet rising demand and ensure the best possible supply for its customers in commercial vehicle applications, such as trucks and buses in North America and Europe. The partnership covers the supply of lithium-ion battery cell modules, whose properties make them particularly suitable for use in commercial vehicles. The battery cell modules supplied by LGES are integrated by Freudenberg e-Power Systems in their battery packs, offering their customers in the truck and bus sector fully engineered drive solutions including intelligent battery management systems, cooling, telematics, and all other relevant elements. The battery cell modules will be assembled at Freudenberg e-Power Systems’ XALT gigafactory in Midland, Michigan. With the recent acquisition of XALT by Freudenberg e-Power Systems, the company is investing a further double-digit million sum in the expansion of its battery business and its capacities. Press release.

TAE Technologies, the world’s largest private fusion energy company, has formed a new subsidiary, TAE Power Solutions. TAE Power Solutions intends to deliver a first-of-its-kind technology to fundamentally improve the reliability, efficiency, longevity, and affordability of electric-powered products, from vehicles to renewable energy storage. The proprietary technology platform is derived from fusion research and is a foundational step toward mass onboarding of electric vehicles and deployment of intermittent renewable energy as dispatchable power. Kedar Munipella, formerly of Applied Materials, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. TAE Power Solutions has also made two strategic acquisitions in the UK to fortify its entry into new markets: Sprint Power, one of the largest transport electrification specialists in Europe, focusing on electrical systems integration and high voltage driveline, and Eltrium, a design and manufacturing company specializing in the production of energy storage systems, power distribution, and electronic assemblies. Through these acquisitions, TAE Power Solutions gains an early foothold in existing projects, including APC18 CELERITAS, a program for advanced battery systems with BMW and other project partners. Press release.

Viridi Parente has selected Bright Machines to digitally transform the company’s U.S. electric battery manufacturing facility. Bright Machines Microfactories, the company’s full-stack assembly automation solution, modernizes manufacturing by leveraging data and AI, providing Viridi with new capabilities to meet the increasing demands for its zero-carbon emission energy battery solutions. Viridi manufactures battery energy storage systems on a 42-acre campus in Buffalo, New York. Bright Machines will help Viridi automate the assembly of its clean, sustainable power sources using Bright Machines’ intelligent automation solution, which assesses production areas to identify the best material needs to reduce defect rates. Press release.

SolarEdge Technologies has begun shipping new battery cells designed for stationary energy storage applications. The new line of Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) pouch cells, manufactured at Sella 2, the company’s new battery cell manufacturing facility in South Korea, has been optimized for energy storage applications for the residential, commercial and utility scale segments. The cells support high cycle life (up to 8000 cycles), high energy density, high-power throughput and a wide temperature range without compromising operational life, enabling SolarEdge to provide battery solutions that support a broad range of use cases, including demanding grid-stability applications. Press release.