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Novi battery startup Our Next Energy launches pilot production at new plant

Posted By: The Detroit News on November 1, 2023.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


Our Next Energy, a Novi-based battery startup, said Wednesday that it’s launched pilot production of lithium iron phosphate batteries at its new plant in Van Buren Township.

The startup plans to supply battery cells for customers in the commercial truck, automotive and utility grid sectors. ONE has sought to position itself as a leader in the development of LFP cell technology and set out to drastically improve the range of electric vehicle batteries.

“The start of cell production at ONE Circle is a major step toward establishing an LFP battery vehicle industry in the U.S. supported by a North American supply chain,” Mujeeb Ijaz, ONE’s CEO and founder, said in a statement. “With Michigan-made LFP cells, ONE is eliminating dependence on nickel and cobalt while addressing the major needs of automakers — range, safety and domestic supply chain.”

ONE said that it will manufacture the cells on a pilot line, which will involve a validation process and sharing samples with customers. Deliveries to customers are slated to start in the first half of next year. A larger LFP manufacturing line is scheduled to start production next year.

In a statement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was “thrilled that homegrown battery-maker Our Next Energy is starting production of their new cells right here in our state.”

Just over a year ago, ONE announced a $1.6 billion investment, supported by over $200 million in state incentives, to build ONE Circle. The plant is slated to employ over 2,000 people.

ONE expects the plant to be operating at full capacity, building enough cells to assemble the equivalent of 200,000 EV battery packs annually, by the end of 2027.

ONE, via contractor manufacturer Piston Automotive, already is manufacturing its Aries LFP battery packs.

In August, the startup announced that it had gotten its Aries II battery pack within 6% of the leading benchmark nickel cobalt manganese battery in terms of range and mass, a significant step toward achieving its goal of reaching energy density parity with the NCM batteries that are in most EVs today. NCM batteries are most commonly used because they have higher energy density; ONE is attempting to boost the energy density of LFP batteries, which are widely regarded in the industry as cheaper, safer and more durable.

Aries II is being developed for customers in the passenger EV market. ONE also is developing a battery it calls the Gemini, which will target more than 600 miles of range on a single charge and combine two cell chemistries in a single pack.

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