April 17, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Bill Gates’ backing helps Novi battery startup raise $25 million

Amid a boom in electric-vehicle production and a race for innovations that improve these new cars’ range and cost, an Oakland County battery startup, Our Next Energy, said Monday it has raised $25 million in a fresh fundraising round.

The investment in ONE, as the company is known, was led by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The year-old startup, based in Novi says it has engineered a way to eke out higher ranges from lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, a more stable but less powerful chemistry than the nickel-based batteries used by most automakers today.

Mujeeb Ijaz, Founder and CEO of Our Next Energy Inc. with the Aries battery pack, which uses a unique Structural Cell to Pack architecture to allow increased range and reduced cost while eliminating nickel- and-cobalt based chemistries.

“The whole foundation of the industry right now is being built on nickel-cobalt,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, ONE’s founder and CEO. “Because range was so important to the end customer, that was seen as the only way to get there. We’re offering an alternative.”

ONE’s innovation lies in the way it designs battery packs, which it plans to build a factory in Michigan to assemble. Ijaz, a veteran of Apple’s secretive car project, said he’s landed his first customer, an EV startup that makes medium-duty delivery trucks. He declined to name the customer but said production will start in November 2022.

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