The Norwegian company Freyr that is planning to build a large battery cell factory in Rana, Norway, has signed a licensing agreement with cell specialist 24M Technologies. The US American spin-off is known for the development of ‘semi-solid’ technology.
The license agreement grants Freyr rights to unlimited production of battery cells based on 24M’s current and all future technologies. The US company that emerged from battery manufacturer A123 in 2010, is working on cells with a simple structure and a semi-solid electrolyte (“semi-solid”).
24M first unveiled its new cell design and new manufacturing methods in 2015, when the company highlighted its low manufacturing costs. After that, it was quiet around the company for a long time. It was not until the end of 2018 that it reported back with a completed financing round and fresh capital proceeds of $22 million.
Now 24M and Freyr are making a licensing agreement public. Freyr is another Scandinavian startup, that similarly to Northvolt, aims to build gigawatt-scale battery cell factories. The plan is to build a cell factory in Rana, Norway. Previously the plan was to build battery production capacities of 32 GWh per year, however now Freyr is speaking of 40 GWh per year by 2025. Local hydroelectric and wind power, among other sources, will be used to operate the plants. Even before the opening of the main factory, Freyr plans to set up so-called “fast-track manufacturing facilities” with a capacity of 2 GWh per year together with its local site partner Mo Industrial Park.
The freshly signed license agreement now stipulates that Freyr will pay both upfront and ongoing fees to 24M. In return, the Norwegians will receive the right to unlimited production of battery cells based on their licensor’s current and all future technologies. “24M has fundamentally redesigned the traditional LIB cell technology and production platform,” says Freyr CEO Tom Jensen. He said it delivers higher energy density per battery while enabling significant reductions in capital costs, operating costs, CO2 emissions and physical space requirements of the production facility compared to traditional solutions. “By combining the 24M platform with access to clean, low-cost renewable energy and Norway’s highly skilled engineering-based workforce, we will deliver on our goal of delivering safe, high quality batteries with the lowest cost and carbon content,” Jensen added.
In October, Freyr already introduced Siemens Energy and Elkem as interested customers. The Norwegian company recently signed a memorandum of understanding with both groups, covering the delivery of cells and the supply of anode active materials. Under the agreement, Freyr undertakes to supply battery cells at more competitive prices than other suppliers. In principle, the lithium-ion cells produced at Rana are to be equally suitable for the automotive market, maritime and stationary applications.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France.
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