Lilium increases stake in Ionblox

Image: Ionblox

Californian battery developer Ionblox has closed a US$32 million Series B funding round, with Bavarian electric taxi startup Lilium also participating.

Lilium had previously invested in the company then known as Zenlabs and licensed its technology. The existing investor Applied Ventures also participated in the series B financing worth the equivalent of €30 million, and Temasek and Catalus Capital joined as new investors. It is not clear from the announcement which shares Lilium now holds in the company, which was founded in 2017, and how much the eVTOL start-up invested.

Ionblox develops battery cells with silicon-dominant anodes for electric aviation and wants to use the fresh capital to scale its technology. The company says its proprietary “pre-lithiated silicon anode technology” should enable it to achieve 50 per cent higher energy density and 5 times the power output of conventional lithium-ion cells – plus the battery should charge in just ten minutes.

Ionblox says it produces large-format pouch cells of up to 50 Ah on its pilot production lines.

“Here at Ionblox, we are commercializing next-generation lithium-ion batteries with pre-lithiated silicon dominant anodes in order to transform the future of electric mobility,” said Sujeet Kumar, CEO of the company. “The funding from this round will enable us to take an important step in our journey to scale our technology and set up our own cell manufacturing in the US and other key markets.”

Yves Yemsi, Chief Operating Officer of Lilium, added: “The Ionblox technology enables one of the highest performance cells for eVTOL aircraft existing today and we’re proud to partner with Ionblox for our conforming aircraft. Test results to date are showing the technology will deliver not only superior energy and power density for the Lilium Jet at launch but also very good aging performance.”


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