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December 4, 2023
3 Min Read
AM Batteries will use the funds to accelerate its dry battery electrode (DBE) process for lithium-ion batteries.Image courtesy of kynny / iStock / Getty Images Plus
AM Batteries, a pioneer in the field of lithium-ion dry-electrode technologies, has closed a $30M Series B in an oversubscribed funding round led by Toyota Ventures. New investment combines strategic corporate support from Porsche Ventures and Asahi Kasei, with financial investment from RA Capital Management - Planetary Health, Wilson Sonsini, and Industry Ventures. The round also includes existing investors such as Anzu Partners, TDK Ventures, Creative Ventures, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Foothill Ventures, and Zeon Ventures.
As the electrification wave sweeps across industries from electric vehicles to renewable energy storage, the conventional "wet-coating" battery electrode production method is increasingly recognized as a disadvantage due to the energy consumption that arises from the drying process. In contrast, AM Batteries’ dry battery electrode (DBE) process uses a “powder to electrode” method that reduces the number of steps to make a battery electrode from seven steps to four by removing the need for electrode drying and solvent recovery. This reduces cost, time, and energy while eliminating the need for harmful solvents — ultimately catalyzing the growing EV demand. All in all, this change is critical for the commercialization of greener batteries — and helpful to OEMs and cell makers as they search for the best option to reduce the cost of EVs for mass market adoption.
“Our approach has the potential to reduce energy usage and CO2 emission by 40% in the battery manufacturing process, creating an overarching net positive for the massive exponential growth of the EV market,” said Lie Shi, CEO of AM Batteries. “Our Series B brings in additional strong strategic, financial, and automotive industry investment as well as continued backing from our incredible existing investors. We’re honored to pioneer and commercialize an increasingly critical piece of battery manufacturing. DBE technology is the single largest step a manufacturer can take to reduce manufacturing costs, and these benefits are continuing to garner attention and adoption.”
As more sustainability focused gigafactories dot the world in places like Asia, Europe, and the US, efficiencies in battery manufacturing are paramount. With strong commercial traction from tier-one battery producers, AMB’s funding from a robust set of strategic and financial investors will help the company develop and drive the commercialization of dry powder coating technology and equipment for low-cost lithium-ion battery manufacturing.
"We are thrilled to lead AM Batteries’ Series B given the impressive progress on critical technical and business milestones since our participation in its Series A,” said Lisa Coca, Climate Fund partner at Toyota Ventures. "Batteries are integral to the energy transition, and AM Batteries' dry electrode technology creates a necessary pathway for wide-scale deployment with a dramatically reduced CO2 emissions profile. We look forward to supporting this seasoned team on this important mission.”
AM Batteries has raised over $60M to date and recently hired two well-respected industry veterans. New at the helm is CEO Lie Shi and former President of Celgard, a global membrane technology company based in the US that invented and commercialized solvent-free, dry-process microporous membrane separators for lithium-ion batteries. And Hieu Duong is the new chief manufacturing officer, a world-renowned dry electrode expert and former Tesla director whose experience includes leadership roles furthering battery technologies at Maxwell Technologies, GE, Zpower, and Quallion.
Shi will lead AM Batteries’ team and further its groundbreaking battery coating process while Duong will be responsible for driving the development and commercialization of the dry powder coating technology and equipment for low-cost lithium-ion battery manufacturing.
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