Oct. 18 (Reuters) – Michigan-based Our Next Energy, which develops an advanced battery for electric vehicles, has raised $ 25 million from investors ranging from German automaker BMW (BMWG.DE) to a clean tech led by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the young company announced on Monday.
ONE’s A-Series investors include BMW iVentures, Detroit-based Assembly Ventures, and Chicago-based Volta Energy Technologies, in partnership with Argonne National Laboratories. Another investor is Singapore-based electronics manufacturer Flex Ltd (FLEX.O), which is also a strategic partner with ONE.
The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the investment arm of Breakthrough Energy, founded by Gates in 2015 to support and fund innovations to tackle climate change. Among the investments of the Kirkland, Washington company: battery recycler Redwood Materials, electric aircraft maker ZeroAvia and solid-state battery developer QuantumScape (QS.N).
ONE, a one-year-old start-up that only recently emerged from stealth mode, is working on a dual battery that combines a cell-to-pack structural design that uses cobalt-free and nickel-free cathodes, with a second pack high energy that can recharge the first vehicle, potentially doubling the range to 750 miles. Read more
ONE founder and CEO Mujeeb Ijaz, a battery systems engineer with over 30 years of experience at Ford Motor Co (FN), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and A123 Systems, said of the backers of funds: “We wanted to surround ourselves with people who are there for the long term. They can help our business grow, and they are magnets for other technologies as well. “
The new investment will help fund research and development, ranging from battery software and power electronics to artificial intelligence and machine learning, Ijaz said.
“We plan to switch from raw materials to (battery) cell manufacturing,” he said, adding that ONE may seek additional funding and partners next year to help the company scale up its manufacturing. .
Report by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by David Gregorio
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