Lithium-metal battery SPAC deal looks to 'electrification revolution'

July 14, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Lithium-metal battery SPAC deal looks to 'electrification revolution'
Lithium-metal battery supplier SES Holdings Pte. Ltd. has announced that it has entered into an agreement with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: IVAN) for a business combination that will result in SES becoming a publicly traded company.

Founded in 2012 as a spin-out company of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), SES is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance hybrid lithium-metal (Li-metal) rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The transaction, says the company, will create the first publicly-traded hybrid Li-metal battery company that combines the high energy density of Li-metal with cost-effective manufacturability at scale.

The company's hybrid Li-metal batteries use a high-energy-density Li-metal anode, a protective anode coating, a proprietary high-concentration solvent-in-salt liquid electrolyte, and artificial intelligence (AI) safety features that are designed to allow for greater performance and manufacturing efficiencies than today's all-solid-state Li-metal batteries. This hybrid Li-metal battery approach, says the company, provides the superior energy density of Li-metal via the proven manufacturing efficiencies of lithium-ion batteries and is expected to enable the next generation of high-range and affordable EVs.

The company entered into a joint development agreement with Hyundai and Kia in May to develop "A-Sample" Li-metal batteries for Hyundai's EVs. This followed a March 2021 announcement of a joint development agreement with General Motors, a supporter of SES since 2015, to deliver a high-performance "A-Sample" Li-metal EV battery at a new pre-production manufacturing facility in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

"Our battery performance is industry-leading under the full range of automotive operating environment and temperature, and is capable of delivering energy density of 400 Wh/kg with fast charge capability up to 80% in less than 15 minutes while meeting cycle life and safety requirements for electric vehicles." says Dr. Qichao Hu, SES Founder and CEO. "Our partnerships with world-class automakers like General Motors, Hyundai and Kia will further accelerate the commercialization of our technology, and position our company to emerge as the leading Li-metal battery supplier to more global automakers starting in 2025."

Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. was formed to seek a target in industries related to the paradigm shift away from fossil fuels towards the electrification of industry and society.

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