BMW will test a new battery in the iX electric SUV developed by Michigan startup Our Next Energy Inc. that can offer a range of 600 miles

Author: Eric Walz

Automaker BMW will test a new battery designed by Novi, Michigan-based EV battery startup Our Next Energy Inc. (“ONE”) that could provide up to 600 miles of range on a full charge.

ONE is working to develop lower-cost, longer-range batteries for electric vehicles. The advanced battery developed by the company is dubbed the “Gemini”, reduces lithium content by 20%, graphite by 60% and minimizes the use of nickel and cobalt.

The Gemini battery also includes a proprietary power management system.

BMW will integrate this dual-chemistry Gemini battery into a prototype BMW iX all-electric sports activity vehicle for real-world testing. The prototype vehicle is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

New battery chemistries in development can deliver significantly longer ranges while using cheaper raw materials could lead to widespread adoption of electric vehicles, so the partnership with ONE is important for BMW.

“We are delighted to be working with BMW to demonstrate our Gemini long-range battery technology to consumers,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, Founder and CEO of ONE. “As the adoption of electric vehicles grows, drivers are learning that real-world conditions can significantly reduce the performance of their batteries. Common situations such as maintaining highway speeds, winter temperatures, climbing mountains, towing or a combination of the four present challenges for EVs. . We plan to put twice as much energy into the batteries, so EVs can easily handle long-distance driving in actual conditions.”

ONE has also developed another battery called “Aries”. The Aries 79 kWh battery uses lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry in a cell-to-pack structural architecture. The result is a very high cell-to-pack ratio of 76%, which delivers an energy density of 287 Wh/L, at the system level.

For comparison, the Tesla Model 3 using LFP battery chemistry has a cell to pack ratio of 49% with an energy density of 173 Wh/L. However, ONE’s Gemini battery is much more energy dense.

The Gemini battery design produces 450 Wh/L at the cell level, according to ONE. The company says the Gemini architecture will eventually allow BMW’s electric SUVs to travel up to 700 miles on a single charge.

“We are well positioned to integrate ONE’s IP into BMW’s SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle) range,” said Jürgen Hildinger, High Voltage Storage Manager at BMW Group New Technologies. “We believe that, given the economic viability, this can lead to business opportunities and strategies to integrate ONE’s battery technologies into models in our future BEV product line.”

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In October 2021, BMW i Ventures, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital arm of BMW, announced an investment in ONE. BMW’s investment was part of a $65 million Series A fundraising round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which was founded by Bill Gates in 2015. Assembly Ventures, Flex Ltd and Volta Energy Technologies also participated in the Round.

“Our Next Energy strives to fundamentally reinvent the battery while focusing on sustainability, safety and cost; three key factors that will help accelerate the development and adoption of battery electric vehicles,” said Baris Guzel. , Partner at BMW i Ventures.

ONE was founded in July 2020 by CEO Ijaz, who is a battery systems engineer with over 30 years of experience developing electric vehicles and battery system technologies.Ijaz led teams at Ford Motor Co., where he developed Ford’s Edge SUV with HySeries Drive, which combines a fuel cell with lithium-ion batteries. At the time, it was the world’s first fuel cell and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The vehicle was unveiled in 2007.

Most recently, Ijaz worked as a senior manager at Apple, where he developed energy storage solutions for the company’s secret “Apple Car” project.

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