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January Newsletter 2024


Dear battery enthusiast,

Welcome to Battery Associates’ January Newsletter. We have summarised some of the month’s most relevant battery news, highlighting technology and research development, and updates from Battery Associates.


Battery Newsletter structure:

  • Battery Industry Highlights

  • B.A Editorial

  • Battery Insiders Podcast

  • B.A Updates & Events

Battery Industry Highlights

In this section, we have summarised relevant battery news from the past month.


On January 16, Northvolt signed a €5 billion non-recourse project debt financing agreement with a consortium of 25 commercial banks, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB). Northvolt announced that this funding will be utilised for their previously disclosed cathode manufacturing facility (Northvolt Ett) and battery recycling facility (Revolt Ett) in Sweden. Notably, this marks the first loan secured through Northvolt's Green Finance Framework established in 2023. To date, Northvolt has successfully raised over $13 billion in a combination of equity and debt funding, supporting their ambitious expansion plans in both Europe and North America.


B.A Commentary: According to a Benchmark analysis, the battery industry requires an estimated investment of over $514 billion by 2030, with this investment forecast expected to reach $920 billion by 2035. Notably, the battery downstream market alone will need $294 billion, constituting 57% of the total estimated funding required to meet the growing demand for batteries. To facilitate this, countries and banks strategise the establishment of low-interest funds to accelerate the battery industry.


Observing the trend, various countries, including the US, Canada, India, South Korea, China, and some EU members, have announced government-backed funds tailored explicitly for the battery industry. However, due to the inherent risks involved, commercial banks are displaying some hesitancy in investing in this sector. Governments could formulate risk mitigation strategies and develop policies to expedite funding in the battery sector, not only through private equity but also through conventional funding modes like loans in the near future.


On January 8, the European Commission approved a €902 million financial package allocated to Northvolt Germany by the German government, approved under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Network. This support entails a direct grant of €700 million to Northvolt, with the remaining €202 million structured as a guarantee.


B.A Commentary:  The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) announced by the US government in 2022, offers numerous direct financial benefits, including funds, research grants, loans, and tax subsidy schemes for battery manufacturers. Consequently, several European battery manufacturers have temporarily slowed their European expansion plans and shifted focus to North America. Despite the EU providing funds like Horizon Europe and Innovation funds for R&D, there is a notable lack of direct support for industries to manage their CAPEX and OPEX costs to develop competitive products in the global market. Germany is joining the trend started by some other EU member states (including France, Hungary, and Spain) that have already extended additional financial support to battery manufacturers to retain manufacturing within their borders.


On January 18, EIT InnoEnergy, a body of the European Union (EU), and Demeter, a private equity and venture capital firm, jointly announced the establishment of the €500 million "EBA Strategic Battery Materials Fund." This fund is primarily dedicated to addressing gaps in the upstream segments, such as mining and processing, within the European battery supply chain. Of the total fund, 70% is earmarked to enhance the production of raw materials through activities encompassing mining, processing, refining, and recycling within the European Union and neighbouring countries. The remaining 30% will be allocated to augmenting the supply of raw materials from European Raw Material Partnership countries, including but not limited to Canada, Namibia, and Argentina.


B.A CommentaryOn March 16, 2023, the European Union introduced the "European Critical Raw Material Act" proposal (CRMA), which was subsequently adopted into law by December 7, 2023. According to this Act, the EU aims to increase its production capacities to achieve a minimum of 10% of the EU's annual consumption for extraction, at least 40% for processing, and a minimum of 15% for recycling. Additionally, the Act specifies that not more than 65% of the Union's annual consumption of each strategic raw material, at any relevant stage of processing, should come from a single third country by 2030. While no financial measures were outlined initially, last year France announced €500 million as the first step of their €2 billion Critical Materials Fund. To support the "European Critical Raw Material Act", the EU unveiled a €500 million Raw Material Fund in January 2024.


On January 29, the UK Infrastructure Bank announced a £200 million loan to AESC. The bank asserts that this bridging loan will facilitate the construction of AESC's previously announced 15.8 GWh battery manufacturing facility in Sunderland. Construction work on the announced gigafactory already commenced in 2022.


B.A CommentaryThe UK is grappling with challenges in expanding its battery ecosystem. A significant setback occurred when the prominent Li-ion battery startup Britishvolt declared bankruptcy. In January 2024, the sodium-ion battery startup AMTE Power disclosed its administration. Subsequently, AMTE was acquired by the Dutch-based battery company LionVolt. Presently, AESC operates the sole gigafactory in the UK, with a 1.8 GWh battery manufacturing facility.


Despite these setbacks, on July 19, 2023, the TATA group declared plans to establish a 40 gigawatt-hour (GWh) battery manufacturing capacity in the UK. The UK government also expressed interest in providing financial support for the announced facility. If realised, this project would result in the largest battery manufacturing facility in the UK.


On January 23, Prologium announced the opening of the world's first giga-scale solid-state lithium ceramic battery production facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan. The facility's announced production capacity is around 2 GWh. Prologium stated that this facility would be used to produce a 106 Ah solid-state battery manufactured with a high-silicon anode produced on-site. Currently, the company claims to have achieved a yield target of 99.9% for single-layer cells on the trial production line.


B.A CommentaryOn May 16, 2023,Prologium unveiled plans for a €5.2 billion 48 GWh solid-state R&D and production facility in France. In response, the French government pledged €1.5 billion in direct funding for Prologium’s solid-state battery R&D under the Framework for State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation, which has been approved by the European Union by August 03, 2023. Prologium aims to commence construction of their French giga-factory in the second half of 2024, with mass production slated for 2026.


On January 24, the American-based Li-metal battery company Sion Power raised $75 million in Series A funding. With this capital, the company has decided to establish a fully automated production facility to manufacture high-quality, large-format lithium-metal cells for testing and market validation by automotive OEMs and cell manufacturers. Sion Power's patented technology, LicerionTM, has been successfully demonstrated in large energy capacity battery cells (up to 20 Ah) and is currently being developed to reach 56Ah.


B.A CommentaryWe are observing a growing trend of investments in Lithium-metal battery technology. In 2021, the European battery manufacturer Northvolt made a strategic move by acquiring Cuberg. Subsequently, in 2022, SES AI announced its PIPE offering in the stock market, raising a substantial $275 million in capital for scaling up operations and scheduling mass production of Li-metal batteries by 2025. Continuing this momentum, in 2023, the French Li-metal battery company Blue Solutions announced a strategic partnership with Foxconn to develop EV batteries, with plans to establish a giga-factory by 2029. As we enter 2024, Sion Power has successfully attracted a sizable amount of investment to advance its commercialisation efforts.


LG Technology Ventures is one of the notable investors in the latest Series A funding round for Sion Power. This trend underscores the heightened focus and investment in Li-metal battery technology across various companies in the industry.


On January 12, the French sodium-ion battery manufacturer Tiamat raised €22 million in funding from Arkema, Stellantis Ventures, and others. Tiamat announced that with these funds, they plan to initiate their industrialisation plan by establishing a 0.7 GWh production plant by the end of 2025. With additional support, Tiamat aims to further expand by establishing a 5 GWh sodium-ion battery production plant in France.


B.A CommentaryOn November 29, 2022, Chinese Na-ion battery manufacturer Hi-Na Batteries announced the inauguration of a gigawatt-hour (GWh) production facility in Fuyang, Anhui province, China. Notably, this facility claims the distinction of being the first large-scale Na-ion battery manufacturing facility. Following this milestone, other Chinese manufacturers such as CATL and BYD have also disclosed their plans for Na-ion battery mass production. Due to the cost advantages associated with sodium-ion batteries, experts anticipate that the Na-ion will soon take up a sizable amount of market share of Li-ion batteries. To meet the demand in the European market, Tiamat is strategically planning to scale up its production technology. Notably, Stellantis Ventures is among the investors in Tiamat's latest funding round of €22 million. This signifies growing interest and investment in the expanding sodium-ion battery market.


On January 8, Clarios, a US-based low-voltage battery solutions provider, announced a partnership with Altris, a European sodium-ion battery manufacturer. The collaboration focuses on the development of batteries up to 60V to support specific automotive applications such as steer-by-wire, brake-by-wire, autonomous functions, and enhanced in-cabin experiences. Additionally, the partnership aims to address aftermarket replacements. No financial details have been disclosed by either party.


B.A CommentaryOn May 4, 2022, Clarios announced a partnership with the American battery company Natron Energy to scale up the production of sodium-ion batteries. Later in the same year, on October 22, Natron Energy unveiled its inaugural product, powered by sodium-ion batteries, claiming the world's first sodium-ion battery cabinet designed for mission-critical applications like data centres, peak power-shaving, and other industrial power environments. 


Interestingly, Clarios has now partnered with Altris to develop the same sodium battery technology tailored for the electric vehicle (EV) market. This collaboration follows Northvolt's sodium battery announcement on November 21, 2023, where Altris serves as Northvolt's research partner. The evolving landscape underscores the growing significance of sodium-ion battery technology across diverse applications.


B.A Exclusive summary


Powering the Future: Gen 4 Batteries powered by Lithium metal anode progress towards industrialization and validation in 2024


As Gen 2 and Gen 3 Li-ion batteries have already entered the commercial market, battery companies are intensifying their investments and collaborations to transition to Gen 4 battery technology (batteries with a specific energy density around 300 to 400 Wh/kg).


Companies in the battery technology sector are exploring various Gen 4 technology approaches, including 100% silicon technology, silicon-dominant technology, and Li-metal anode technology. Lithium metal technology, in particular, is gaining sizable funding to expedite its industrialization.


Here are some notable developments in the Lithium metal technology space: 


  • Cuberg (acquired by Northvolt in 2021), a Li-metal battery company, announced that their cells are achieving 380 Wh/kg;

  • SES AI reported that their batteries reach 375 to 400 Wh/kg, with B-level samples scheduled for OEM & Automaker validation by 2024; 

  • French company Blue Solutions disclosed that their pre-A sample batteries reach 450 Wh/kg, and have been sent to customers for validation;

  • Factorial Energy inaugurated its pilot plant facility in Boston, US, by October 2023, with samples achieving a specific energy density in the range of 350 Wh/kg to 400 Wh/kg;

  • As mentioned earlier in our news summary, on January 24, American-based Li-metal battery company Sion Power raised $75 million in Series A funding to advance its testing and market validation efforts.

These represent the latest advancements in Li-metal technology, with many Li-metal battery players planning to deliver B-level samples to customers in 2024. Companies like SES AI have announced plans to commence their Li-metal gigafactory by 2025. However, experts anticipate that these technologies have considerable scale-up and supply chain challenges.


EU Battery Regulation Services


Visit our updated EU Battery Regulation Briefings website (batteryregulation.eu).You are able to request an expert call and also access our AI-powered tool to understand the passed EU Battery Regulation. For any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via info@batteryregulation.eu.


Website: Link


Battery Insiders Podcast Summary

Battery Associates runs a monthly podcast called Battery Insiders. Battery Insiders covers the role of batteries for sustainable development and battery-relevant topics featuring a range of battery experts and enthusiasts. Our podcast also includes the recordings of the Battery Revolution Clubhouse sessions co-hosted live by Mariam Awara. Battery Insiders is hosted by Bhavya Jha and Dr. Simon Engelke.

Talk on: Exploring the Life Cycle of Batteries

Speaker: Robert Pell, Founder & CEO of Minviro and Adriana Merino Zamora, Senior Sustainability Scientist at Minviro

Session Summary: The podcast episode features insights on life cycle assessments (LCAs) and carbon footprints in the context of lithium-ion batteries. The speakers emphasise the importance of life cycle assessment methodology, especially in the context of European battery regulations. The discussion also highlights the narrow focus on carbon footprint in regulations, with hope for the industry to adopt a broader life cycle assessment approach covering various impact categories. Watch the full conversation here.


Talk on: Emergence of On-Device AI Applications & Impact on Battery Life

Speaker: Dr. Raj Talluri, President & CEO of Enovix Corporation

Session Summary: The episode highlights the increasing presence of AI, particularly generative AI, in various devices. Dr. Raj Talluri emphasises the widespread integration of AI into daily routines, particularly in realms like photography. The discussion then focuses on the trend of moving AI processing from the cloud to the edge and the impact that AI has on draining battery use. Listen to the full conversation here.


Battery Associates Updates & Events


BatteryMBA May Cohort

BatteryMBA’s upcoming cohort runs from May 6 to July 27, 2024! BatteryMBA offers a combination of in-depth technical and business knowledge on a range of battery topics aligned with the sector's dynamic growth. BatteryMBA alumni have affiliations with Tesla, Farasis Energy, JLR, Airbus, Hitachi High-Tech Europe, Schlumberger, Bertrandt Group, AMTE Power, the University of Birmingham, the European Parliament, and many others. Enroll here!


The course consists of an exciting battery case study track (with case studies from leading business schools). If you have any queries, reach out to us via email at info@battery.mba. Need-based scholarships and group discounts are available.




Battery Day 2024

Battery Day 2024 will take place on Thursday, September 26, 2024, featuring panels, deep dive sessions, keynotes, and networking breaks to facilitate up-to-date knowledge of different battery technologies, future chemistries, applications, and market insights from leading battery experts. If you are interested in being involved in the event, please contact info@battery.associates.



Battery Associates services


Battery Associates offers consultancy, innovation, and education services on a wide range of topics. Please get in touch if you're interested in any of our services!


About Battery Associates


Battery Associates (B.A) is a community-driven company on a mission to accelerate sustainable battery innovation - join us!


B.A operates as a global network that unites battery experts (BatteryPRO), a platform for innovative projects (BatteryLAB), and a facilitator of training programmes for aspiring battery leaders (BatteryEDU). B.A's educational programmes notably includes BatteryMBA, a 12-week programme training aspiring battery leaders.


We are rapidly becoming a reference community for battery enthusiasts who want to tackle pressing environmental and energy-related challenges. Battery Associates currently unites battery experts working across the battery value supply chain, based in over 20 countries. We're growing, join us in our work!


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