A123 Systems invests in Ionic Materials for solid-state battery development


A123 Systems has announced their investment in Ionic Materials. The startup is working on a polymer for solid-state batteries and recently found a trustee in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance as well.

A123 Systems that is based in the States but owned by Chinese Wanxiang has been funded innovative startups for some time. This latest investment in Ionic Materials from Massachusetts will see them working together in a strategic development cooperation.

In a company statement, A123 describes Ionic Materials’ solid polymer electrolyte as having “achieved significant advances in the operating temperature of solid-state batteries.” The material is compatible with multiple electrode chemistries and offers the potential to employ high energy battery materials which are too volatile for use with flammable electrolytes.

“We are excited to work with A123 and feel that their scientific talent and automotive relationships will accelerate the adoption of our technology in electric vehicles globally, ” said Mike Zimmerman, Founder and CEO of Ionic Materials. A123 looks to commercialise the polymer electrolyte technology of Ionic Materials early in the next decade.

A123 are not the only ones that have been sold on the promise. Ionic Materials just closed a round of financing with 65 million dollars and backers included Alliance Ventures, the investment arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi reportedly. Accordingly, Patrick Hurley, Chief Technical Officer of A123 said he sees “the future moving quickly toward us” and that the small company is “eager to lead the adoption of solid-state technology among the world’s leading automotive OEMs.” So far, the solid-state batteries do not yet exist but a production facility shall be set up in Massachusetts.

Also, for A123 it is not the first time they would follow a large carmaker in their solid-state investments. Both BMW as well as A123 hold stakes in Solid Power, a spin-off from the University of Colorado Boulder, who BMW will assist in advancing their technology to fit high-performance EVs (we reported).


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