EV battery startup ONE raises $300M to develop batteries with a 750-mile driving range; now valued at $1.2 billion
Michigan-based battery startup Our Next Energy (ONE) has raised $300 million in Series B funding. The latest round now puts the company at a valuation of $1.2 billion, making the three-year-old startup a member of the highly-coveted unicorn club.
The latest round, which was led by prominent investors including Temasek, Coatue, Riverstone Holdings, AI Capital Partners, and Sente Ventures, also makes Our Next Energy one of the most valuable privately held battery companies in the United States. The Series B round also included an earlier $62.5 million convertible note closed with BMW iVentures, Assembly Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Volta Energy Technologies, Flex and Coatue.
The news comes a year after the company announced it had successfully tested a prototype of its new battery that gets a 750-mile driving range in the Tesla Model S before recharging. ONE’s battery combines a structural cell-to-pack design that uses cobalt- and nickel-free cathodes, with a second, high-energy pack that can recharge the first. ONE said the testing was done in a road test across Michigan in late December, at an average speed of 55 miles per hour.
Founded three years ago by 30-year industry veteran Mujeeb Ijaz, ONE said the company has demonstrated technologies that can double the range of electric vehicles. In addition to improving range, ONE said the company is also focused on lowering the cost with cobalt-free chemistries that don’t pose a thermal runaway risk.
The startup is currently delivering prototype versions of its Aries I battery pack to several companies for testing. In an interview, Ijaz said the company aims to begin producing Aries II lithium iron phosphate cells next year at a new factory in Van Buren Township in southeastern Michigan.
“These are the kind of investors that are not worried about current economic conditions as much as they are focused on this century-level transition to electrification,” Ijaz said.
Ijaz added that the plant initially will have a capacity of around 2 gigawatt-hours, growing to 10 GWh by 2026 and 20 GWh in 2027. In the long run, the facility will produce Aries II packs, and will have a prototype line for the company’s dual-chemistry Gemini cells, which the company hopes to begin producing in 2026.
We first covered ONE back in October 2021 when the startup emerged from stealth with $25 million in Series A funding from high-profile investors including German automaker BMW and a clean technology venture firm headed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
ONE’s range target is well beyond even the best of current electric vehicles, including the Lucid Air, which offers just over 500 miles of range in the top version. Ijaz said ONE chose a Tesla Model S to showcase its prototype battery because “it has fairly high efficiency and a fairly large battery pack” which provided enough space to fit ONE’s battery.