In yet another strategic move to develop batteries for future electric vehicles, BMW’s venture capital arm, BMW i Ventures, has invested in Our Next Energy (ONE), a startup based in Michigan. Our Next Energy is working to develop energy storage solutions that offer longer range and lower costs than the batteries currently on the market. The investment in Our Next Energy follows similar developments which concern the lithium used to produce batteries along with its extraction, solid state batteries, and sustainable batteries that may one day be recyclable. BMW i Venture’s investment in Our Next Energy will be used to help the startup scale production of its initial products.
“Our Next Energy is working to fundamentally reinvent the battery while focusing on sustainability, safety, and cost; three key factors which will help speed the development and adoption of battery electric vehicles,” said Baris Guzel, partner at BMW i Ventures. “We are convinced that Our Next Energy has the potential to truly transform the space, and we could not be more excited to join their journey.”
“BMW i Ventures has a proven track record of successful collaboration with startups with leading technologies to shape future mobility,” said Mujeeb Ijaz, CEO and founder of Our Next Energy. “We are excited to collaborate with Baris and his team as we work to demonstrate our core technologies.”
Our Next Energy has developed and demonstrated two proprietary technologies which seem to have caught the attention of BMW. The first, referred to as Aries, relies on lithium ion phosphate chemistry to eliminate the need for nickel and cobalt in the construction of batteries through its use in battery cell and pack architecture, which allows for greater density (more battery cells in a given battery pack). The end result takes the form of greater range coupled with decreased costs, and the elimination of the aforementioned materials which effectively represent the true environmental cost of electric vehicles, aside from where the energy to power them comes from in the first place.
Our Next Energy’s second development, Gemini, is summarized as a dual-battery range extension architecture which uses the firm’s proprietary energy management system and chemistry.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]