US solid state battery deal for European car makers

November 30, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
US solid state battery deal for European car makers
Mercedes and Stellantis are backing US startup Factorial Energy with a solid state battery technology that is a drop-in replacement for lithium ion cells

US startup Factorial Energy has signed up both Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis as customers for its solid state battery technology and investors.

“These partnerships will accelerate our ability to commercialize our core technology,” said Dr Siyu Huang, CEO of Factorial Energy in Massachusetts (above, right) who was also the founder of the predecessor materials company Lionano. “With our new partners we can develop batteries that not only enable safer and longer driving range vehicles, but that are also compatible with conventional lithium-ion battery manufacturing environments.”

The deal is significant as Stellantis and Mercedes ar working together on plans for battery plants, making the Factorial technology a key contender.

Factorial says its FEST (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology) is a drop in replacement for lithium battery cells that can extend driving range by 20 to 50 percent.

FEST uses a proprietary solid electrolyte material that enables safe and reliable cell performance with high-voltage and high-capacity electrodes at room temperature. Earlier this year, Factorial became the first company to show a 40 Ah solid-state cell that works at room temperature, demonstrating the scalability of the FEST electrolyte.

Factorial also has collaboration agreements with Hyundai Motor Company and Kia. The investment by Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz is a significant validation of its technology and a springboard for commercialization in vehicles around the world. The company is also backed by Mark Fields, a former CEO and president of Ford and includes former Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche on the board.

“By accelerating our Mercedes-Benz strategy towards 'Electric Only', we have set the course for a fully electric future. We will also play a leading role in the field of battery technology. With Factorial as our new partner, we are taking research and development in the field of promising solid-state batteries to the next level. To this end, we are investing a high double-digit million dollar amount in Factorial,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG and responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO (above left).

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