Our Next Energy (ONE), a Michigan-based startup, announced today that it has signed an agreement with BMW to incorporate its Gemini dual-chemistry batteries into a prototype version of the iX.
“We are thrilled to be working with BMW to demonstrate our Gemini long-range battery technology to consumers,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and CEO of ONE. “As EV adoption grows, drivers are learning that real-world conditions can significantly reduce the performance of their batteries.”
ONE’s dual-chemistry batteries combine two types of cells, some designed for better energy retention, and others for better energy delivery. By doing so, the whole battery pack can deliver better range while using fewer hard-to-source materials.
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The startup claims that its battery technology will be able to give the BMW iX 600 miles (966 km) of range while using 20 percent less lithium and 60 percent less graphite and minimizing the use of nickel and cobalt as compared to traditional batteries. It also claims that this makes the batteries less prone to thermal runaway, which means they’re safer, too.
Indeed, in December, ONE retrofitted its Gemini batteries to a Tesla Model S and managed to achieve 752 miles (1,210 km) of range in a real-world driving scenario. Now, the goal is to start moving the technology towards production.
“We’re on a path where every piece of the puzzle that’s required in understanding a production program is part of what we’re doing and discussing with them,” Ijaz told Automotive News. “This is a matter of how to channel this to market, and what we’re seeing in BMW‘s view, what bridges we have to get across, how the product works on energy, power, and cost, and can we put it into production from a manufacturing perspective with known technologies.”
The company is now looking at sites for a cell factory in the U.S. that could make both its Aries base battery and the Gemini long-range battery.
BMW’s tie-up with ONE follows its lead in a recent $65 million funding round. The automaker’s venture capital arm, BMW i Ventures, was behind the investment, which ultimately led to this agreement.
“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.