BMW venture capital unit invests in Battery tech startup - Just Auto
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BMW venture capital unit invests in Battery tech startup

By David Leggett 19 Oct 2021

BMW i Ventures has announced an investment in Our Next Energy Inc. (ONE), a Michigan-based energy storage solutions company working to develop longer range, lower cost batteries for electric vehicles.

BMW says ONE has demonstrated two proprietary technologies – the first, called “Aries”, uses Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) chemistry in an advanced structural cell to pack architecture reaching very high cell to pack ratios and system level energy density. This, it is claimed, results in an increase in battery range and decrease in costs while eliminating nickel- and cobalt-based chemistries.

The second proprietary tech, dubbed “Gemini,” uses ONE’s proprietary energy management system and chemistry in a dual battery range extender architecture.

ONE’s first customer will use the Aries as a replacement for a nickel-based pack, a company spokesperson has said.

“Our Next Energy is working to fundamentally reinvent the battery while focusing on sustainability, safety and cost; three key factors which will help speed the development and adoption of battery electric vehicles,” said Baris Guzel, partner at BMW i Ventures. “We are convinced that Our Next Energy has the potential to truly transform the space, and we could not be more excited to join their journey.”

“BMW i Ventures has a proven track record of successful collaboration with startups with leading technologies to shape future mobility,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, CEO and Founder of Our Next Energy. “We are excited to collaborate with Baris and his team as we work to demonstrate our core technologies.”

The size of BMW’s investment was not disclosed. BMW said Our Next Energy will use the investment to scale production of its first products.

The company has also attracted investment from Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures as part of total $25m Series A funding round.

The Aries will go into production at the end of 2022, ONE says, with a contract manufacturing partner in Michigan.

Founded in 2020 by Mujeeb Ijaz, a battery systems engineer with more than 30 years of experience (including a stint working at Ford), ONE and its team of experienced battery engineers are ‘focused on safer battery chemistries that use the most sustainable raw materials while creating a reliable, low cost and conflict-free supply chain’.