Northvolt has acquired Cuberg, a US-based battery technology company delivering lithium metal cells produced on existing lithium-ion manufacturing lines for electromobility solutions.

Cuberg was spun out of Stanford University in 2015 with the goal of commercialising next-generation battery technology based on a liquid electrolyte combined with a lithium metal anode.

Cuberg counts mobility companies among its customers, including Boeing, BETA Technologies, Ampaire and VoltAero. The company’s investors and financial backers include Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Activate.org, the California Energy Commission, the US Department of Energy and the TomKat Centre at Stanford.

“The Cuberg team has shown exceptional ability to develop technology, proven results and a customer base in a lean and efficient organisation,” said Northvolt CEO and co-founder, Peter Carlsson.

“Combining these strengths with the capabilities and technology of Northvolt allows us to make significant improvements in both performance and safety while driving down cost even further for the next-generation battery cells. This is critical for accelerating the shift to fully electric vehicles and responding to the needs of the leading automotive companies within a relevant time frame.”

Cuberg’s batteries, based on its electrolyte technology for lithium metal anode, are designed for commercialisation. Validated by third parties, the cells deliver more than 70% increased range and capacity versus comparable lithium-ion cells designed for high-rate electric aviation applications.

Building on this foundation, Northvolt and Cuberg will mature its automotive and industrial product portfolio with the ambition to industrialise cells in 2025, which exceed 1,000 Wh/L, while meeting the spectrum of automotive customer requirements.

Cuberg’s technology addresses the biggest challenge with emerging battery technologies, which is effective manufacturing scale-up. Cuberg has already demonstrated compatibility of its technology with the existing lithium-ion manufacturing ecosystem, which minimises time to market and enables commercial deployment in the electromobility market.

The new technology will be deployed at scale in electromobility markets within three years, starting with electric aviation.

Northvolt will establish a technology centre in Silicon Valley based on the Cuberg acquisition and is hiring battery industry staff. In addition to accelerating the lithium metal cell development and optimising technology for automotive applications, the new centre will focus on materials research and development for lithium-ion anode and electrolyte technologies.

The centre will enable Northvolt to engage and partner with technology companies and universities in Silicon Valley, with the aim to bridge research efforts between Europe and North America. It will also serve as a test bed for methodologies leveraging digitalisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Northvolt brings incredible technology and manufacturing capabilities that will accelerate the commercialisation and adoption of our lithium metal technology,” added Cuberg CEO and co-founder, Richard Wang.