Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup 24M has announced that it has raised $21.8 million in Series D funding to accelerate its low-cost manufacturing process and development of its high energy density lithium-ion cells for electric vehicles. This round of funding was led by Kyocera Group and ITOCHU Corporation. Existing investor North Bridge Venture Partners also participated in this round.
24M launched its SemiSolid lithium-ion battery design back in 2015. And the company leveraged its semi-automated pilot facility to substantially advance its cell design and production readiness. 24M is now able to scale its capital-efficient and low-cost approach to advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing.
“We’ve been working diligently to advance our innovative technology and manufacturing process to address both the low-cost grid market, and, more recently, the high energy density requirements of the EV market,” said 24M president and CEO Rick Feldt in a statement. “We recognize the importance of a high-performance, low-cost solution to a market moving towards regional production, and are ready to scale our cells and manufacturing process.”
And 24M’s SemiSolid process uses electrolyte as the processing solvent and it eliminates capital and energy intensive steps such as drying, solvent recovery, calendaring, and electrolyte filling.
24M design essentially eliminates the need for significant inactive material such as copper, aluminum, and separator, which results in bills of materials advantages and a lower cost to manufacture. And the incorporation of electrolyte during the binderless slurry mixing process brings unique approaches to high energy density cell designs.
“Demand for lithium-ion batteries is escalating rapidly due to increasing interest in electric vehicles and renewable energy, and the differentiated 24M manufacturing process and radical approach to cell design offers a powerful solution to cost-effectively respond to this need with a superior product,” added ITOCHU’s General Manager of Industrial Chemicals Department Koji Hasegawa. “Through this investment, ITOCHU is excited to be working closely with 24M to promote the global production of next-generation SemiSolid lithium-ion batteries.”