Solid-state battery firm Factorial Energy is nearly ready to provide test cells to automakers, the company said last week in a press release announcing completion of its Series D funding round.
Factorial said it raised $200 million in the round, which was led by Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis. Both automakers announced plans to invest in Factorial last year. Hyundai has been a big investor as well.
Massachusetts-based Factorial said it delivered its first 40-amp-hour solid-state battery in 2021. The company is now building a pilot production facility to scale up production of test cells for customers. The facility will be located in New England and will start construction in early 2022, Factorial said.
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Factorial claims it will achieve a 50% range improvement with its battery tech, but manufacturing test cells is only one step on the path to full-scale commercialization. Stellantis hopes to use some solid-state cells starting around 2026 that can use some of the same "industrial assets" as current lithium-ion chemistry.
Several other automakers are pursuing solid-state batteries. In November 2021, Nissan said it is targeting use of technology by 2028, as part of a larger plan to ramp up EV production. Toyota began discussing solid-state batteries earlier, but more recently indicated it will debut solid-state tech not in a battery electric model but in a hybrid.
Ford and BMW are among the companies backing Colorado-based Solid Power. That company is also aiming for a form factor that can be used in facilities alongside or replacing lithium-ion cells, and it demonstrated the safety of its cells late last year.