Porsche Investment in Lithium-Silicon, Giga-Factory Commitments, More

May 18, 2022 | Battery industry news including new funding for lithium-silicon and other new battery chemistries, recycling updates, pouch cell validation, and more.

American Battery Factory, a developer the United States’ first network of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) cell giga-factories, announced its first offtake agreement with Lion Energy to deliver 18 GWh of LFP battery cells. ABF will provide Lion Energy with high-capacity prismatic cells offering 50 and 300 Ah outputs designed for a range of Lion Energy solutions, including portable solar generators along with residential, commercial and utility grid-level lithium battery-based energy storage systems. ABF will manufacture safe battery cells for Lion Energy and other pack integrators and energy solution providers in its network of clean and green modular rapid construction factories utilizing American technology enhancements. As ABF develops its factory network, including erecting new factories near or on-site at pack integrators, its cell manufacturing facilities will be sized in 3 GWh pods or modules with the ability to scale production output to any size in which the local workforce can support. Lion Energy will initially receive 1.2 GWh of cells annually, growing to 6 GWh over a five-year period. Press release.

Delta-Q Technologies (Delta-Q) has shipped its four millionth battery charger. With each charger representing the potential to save one metric ton of emissions, this significant milestone equates to four million metric tons of carbon emissions saved since the company’s founding, further cementing its imprint on global electrification and sustainability. In April, Delta-Q was also recognized for its innovation in reducing emissions in the transportation sector with a $300,000 grant from The CleanBC Go Electric Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) Program. Press release.

Insurtech Altelium has partnered with Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) to deliver the world’s first data-driven battery energy storage system (BESS) warranty program to help accelerate growth in the battery energy storage market, a vital component in the race to reduce carbon emissions and achieve energy security. Initially supported by the government innovation agency, Innovate UK, Altelium’s warranty is built on an understanding of battery properties, behaviors and data analytics. Through its advanced online platform, every aspect of the warranty from data capture, performance and risk assessment, pricing of the premium, issuance, claims, to reporting and invoicing, is carried out through a single portal. The warranty will facilitate the use of—and trade in—second life batteries for BESS, which will be a cornerstone of the battery circular economy; enable manufacturers who purchase it to free up ‘trapped capital’ allowing greater resources to be focused on growth; give customers confidence in mitigating the impact of potential manufacturer insolvency, with the backing of ‘A’ rated insurance capital; and more. Press release.

Group14 Technologies, a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced silicon-carbon technology for lithium-silicon batteries, has raised $400 million in Series C funding led by Porsche AG with participation from OMERS Capital Markets, Decarbonization Partners, Riverstone Holdings, Vsquared Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, and other large institutional investors. To deliver to customers including Porsche subsidiary Cellforce Group, Group14 plans to break ground on its second commercial-scale BAM factory in the U.S. to stay ahead of demand from markets reliant on high-performing batteries. Press release.

Ascend Elements is sharing new details of its innovative Hydro-to-Cathode process technology, which helps explain how the company can transform critical elements from recycled lithium-ion batteries into new cathode materials that rival or exceed the performance of cathode materials made with virgin metals. The company is bringing advanced materials engineering to the recycling industry. By engineering the composition and microstructure of lithium-ion cathode particles during the direct precursor synthesis phase of its Hydro-to-Cathode process, Ascend Elements can deliver custom-made battery materials to precise customer specifications. Press release.

Power management company Eaton announced the North American launch of the 9395XC uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Designed to anticipate the growing needs for large power capacity in a small footprint in data centers, the new solution delivers reliable, flexible power protection for everything from hyperscale and multi-tenant data centers to enterprise and light industrial applications. The 9395XC UPS features more intelligent sensing capabilities and integrations that enable 24×7, real-time power infrastructure monitoring and management through integration with Eaton’s Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution and PredictPulse remote monitoring service, both integral parts of the Eaton Brightlayer Data Centers suite. Users who deploy the 9395XC UPS can future-proof their data center infrastructure with the ability to incorporate Eaton’s EnergyAware solution and battery services to help improve sustainability while offsetting overall energy consumption and costs. Press release.

South 8 Technologies, a pioneer in electrolyte formulations for next-generation lithium batteries, has raised $12M in Series A financing, led by Anzu Partners with participation from LG Technology Ventures, Shell Ventures, Foothill Ventures, and Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC). South 8 will leverage the funding to accelerate the commercialization of its patented Liquefied Gas Electrolyte (LiGas) technology for high-performance batteries for electric vehicle, grid storage, aerospace, and defense applications. South 8’s LiGas electrolyte technology offers a unique approach to next-generation lithium batteries and addresses the shortcomings of existing liquid electrolytes and solid-state batteries that are still under development. Unlike common battery electrolytes that are liquid at room temperature, or solid-state electrolytes, South 8’s non-toxic LiGas technology uses solvents that are normally gaseous at standard pressure and room temperature but may be liquefied under pressure and used as an electrolyte within the cell. Press release.

Energy Assurance, an independent third-party test laboratory, has validated the high specific energy and high-power of Zenlabs Energy’s new large-format pouch cells for the electric aviation market. Energy Assurance tested Zenlabs’ 32 ampere hour (Ah) capacity pouch cells and confirmed a high specific energy of ~ 327.5 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) and a high-power rating of greater than 3,000 watts per kilogram (W/kg) using 12C rate (~394 A), 30 sec pulses at 30° Celsius. Although cycle life testing at Energy Assurance is ongoing, Zenlabs’ internal test data has demonstrated greater than 700 cycles for this cell configuration when measured at 1C (one hour) charge/discharge rates. Previously, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) validated over 1,000 dynamic stress test (DST) cycles and rapid charging in Zenlabs’ 315 Wh/Kg electric vehicle cells, which were developed in a program with the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC). Press release.

TWAICE, a battery analytics company, has secured $30 million in additional Series B financing led by global investment firm Coatue. The round extension, which includes personal investment from Lip-Bu Tan and participation from existing investors, builds on TWAICE’s $26 million Series B in May 2021, led by Energize Ventures. The funds will be used to further optimize TWAICE’s cloud analytics platform and expand its presence in Europe and North America, including growing its new Chicago-based office. TWAICE’s software addresses key challenges in the battery lifecycle by generating insights into battery aging, while making highly accurate predictions on its future performance. Press release.