Stealthy solid state battery partnership
Hyundai invests in Factorial Energy, secret SS battery maker Metal Tech News – November 3, 2021
Last updated 11/9/2021 at 4:42pm
Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corp. have partnered with Factorial Energy Inc., a solid-state battery manufacturer, to test the Massachusetts-based battery maker's novel technology in Hyundai electric vehicles.
Factorial Energy has developed a breakthrough in solid-state battery technology that offers 20 to 50% longer range per charge than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Under a joint development agreement, which includes a strategic investment, Hyundai and Kia will integrate Factorial's promising battery technology at the cell, module, and system levels; perform vehicle-level integration, and co-develop specifications for manufacturing Factorial solid-state batteries.
Leveraging its proprietary FEST (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology), Factorial utilizes a solid electrolyte material, which purportedly enables safer, more reliable cell performance with high-voltage and high-capacity electrodes.
Although somewhat recent to the battery field, the company includes former chairman and CEO of Panasonic North America Joe Taylor; former Chairman of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz, Dieter Zetsche; former Ford CEO Mark Fields; and Harry Wilson, former senior advisor to the Obama Administration's Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, as members of Factorial's advisory board.
Clearly, there is some clout behind the solid-state battery company that popped up out of nowhere mid-2021.
"Our partnership with Hyundai is yet another validation of our solid-state battery technology, and we look forward to demonstrating its market readiness in Hyundai vehicles," said Factorial Energy CEO Siyu Huang. "We can help unlock mass adoption of electric vehicles – and the resulting environmental benefits – through our safe and long-range batteries."
Pursuit toward solid-state battery technology has been ongoing for many decades, so the initial claim in April came as a surprise for the battery industry.
This recent announcement certainly adds weight to the company's product.
According to Alex Yu, Factorial's president, the company started internally testing 40 amp-hours of capacity – about 10 times the size of a smartphone battery – earlier this year. That's double the 20 Ah battery that Solid Power has built and many times the size of the largest battery QuantumScape has disclosed.
The final ingredient was an investment to scale up its battery line from one that could make prototypes to one that could deliver test cells to automakers, and in partnering with Hyundai Group, perhaps it will not be that long until lithium-ion has not only a decent competitor but a replacement.