(Changes paragraph 7 to say the cost target is $50 at cell level and less than $100 at pack level)
By Paul Lienert
(Reuters) -Our Next Energy, the Michigan-based electric vehicle battery startup, said its new Aries II battery pack is capable of providing 350 miles (565 km)of range between charges while avoiding the use of expensive materials such as nickel and cobalt.
ONE’s Aries II cells use cathodes made of lithium iron phosphate. LFP cells are less expensive, safer and more sustainable than those that use nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathodes, but typically provide far less range.
The Aries II cells have significantly narrowed the performance gap between LFP and NCM, ONE Founder and Chief Executive Mujeeb Ijaz said at a media briefing on Tuesday.
The Aries II packs are slated to go into pilot production late next year at ONE’s new factory in Van Buren Township in southeastern Michigan.
Ijaz said the company’s dual-chemistry Gemini pack will boost EV range to 600 miles (965 km) and is scheduled to go into production in 2025-2026.
Gemini marries LFP cells similar to those used in the Aries pack with higher-energy cells that act as a range extender as charge is depleted. The range-extender cells use cathodes with no cobalt and 75% less nickel, along with lithium metal anodes that use no graphite.
Ijaz said the cost target with Gemini is $50 per kilowatt-hour at the cell level and less than $100/kWh at the pack level.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by Jonathan Oatis)