Volkswagen Group and 24M Technologies - Cambridge-based battery start-up, a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - announced a strategic partnership to manufacture next-generation lithium-ion EV batteries using the 24M SemiSolid platform.
The partnership is focused on the development of production technology for SemiSolid battery cells for use in Volkswagen Group's electric vehicles and includes worldwide licenses, Joint Development Agreement, and "significant investment" in 24M.
The German manufacturer will establish a wholly owned subsidiary that will, in cooperation with 24M, develop a SemiSolid battery cell production technology for automotive applications. It's expected that the new dry coating process will translate into a considerable cost savings.
"The target is to generate considerable cost optimisation in future battery production, by reducing material usage and eliminating several steps from the conventional production process. For this purpose, a new Volkswagen-owned subsidiary will further develop and upscale the technology for automotive applications based on 24M IPs."
"Prospective benefits include up to 40 percent less production area, considerable savings on investment and more efficient product recycling, as well as the reduction of the CO2 footprint of battery production. Implementing the process in large-scale production is targeted for the second half of the decade."
Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group for Technology and CEO of Volkswagen Group Components said:
“Volkswagen is implementing its battery strategy very consistently and at a high pace. Volkswagen’s unified cell must be at the forefront of performance, costs and sustainability right from the start. With our new partners, we are one step closer to reaching this goal. Together, we will focus on key parts of the battery value chain and develop cutting-edge technologies.”
24M President and CEO, Naoki Ota said:
“The 24M mission is to develop a better, cleaner energy future powered by our technology. Our relationship with Volkswagen significantly expands the 24M ecosystem. Their investment, collaborative development and ability to scale globally will accelerate our manufacturing platform, thereby replacing the conventional manufacturing process and fast tracking electric vehicle adoption.”
Freyr, a Norwegian startup that has outlined plans to build a 43 GWh battery gigafactory in Norway, and 50 GWh battery gigafactory in the U.S. using 24M battery tech, welcomes the news about Volkswagen's investment and partnership with 24M.
We guess that Freyr might be the next Volkswagen joint venture partner to build a battery gigafactory.
"In 2020, FREYR signed a license agreement with 24M with rights to unlimited production of battery cells based on 24M’s current and all future technology. This will enable FREYR to benefit from 24M’s ongoing R&D and integrate future versions of the SemiSolid™ platform into its production and sales of battery cells into all market segments."