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Benz and Stellantis Invests US$200 Million on Solid-State Battery Company Factorial Energy

published: 2022-01-25 9:30

Battery startup Factorial Energy has announced the completion of its Series D funding, and has acquired an investment of US$200 million from Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis in the hopes of accelerating the commercial schedule of solid-state batteries.

EV is an inevitable trend, and that makes lithium batteries an unavoidable battleground, of which solid-state battery has become a key technology emphasized by numerous automotive manufacturers, with exertion placed on the corresponding development. US battery startup Factorial Energy (FE) recently announced its completion of the latest Series D funding that will expedite the schedule of commercialization.

Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis (a merged company between Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Group) serve as the lead investors this time with a total investment of US$200 million. How long will it take before we see an official commercial operation for solid-state batteries?

According to Siyu Huang, the CEO of FE, the startup will first construct a pilot production line starting from this quarter in New England. “FE will begin mass production on solid-state batteries and ship to clients for testing when the factory is completed,” commented Huang. Aside from the lead investors of Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis, Hyundai which saw a surge in sales during 2021 is also a client of FE.

FE has produced the prototype for a 40Ah solid-state battery, and conducted various pressure tests on a continual basis. Apart from FE, BMW/Ford (Solid Power), GM, CATL, Toyota, and Volkswagen (QuantumScape) are all putting significant efforts on solid-state batteries, though most of them have yet to produce a substantial schedule for the product.

Simultaneously, Dongfeng Motor has also announced its first batch of solid-state EVs that adopt the solid-state lithium batteries manufactured by Ganfeng Lithium. The first batch will consist of 50 units, though they are strictly used for demonstration, with mass production yet to be initiated.

Solid-state battery is much safer than the existing lithium batteries, with a higher duration, and possibly cheaper prices, which makes it a holy grail among various automotive manufacturers. Tesla, a global leader of EV sales, is the only manufacturer that shows no interests in solid-state batteries. Will the 4680 battery developed by Tesla surpass solid-state batteries? We are about to find out in the second half of 2022 at the earliest.

 (Cover photo source: Factorial Energy)

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