GM invests in battery-material company Mitra Chem
General Motors is making a strategic investment in Mitra Chem, a Silicon Valley-based innovator in AI-powered battery materials. The US carmaker expects the investment to provide it with development know-how for iron-based cathode materials.
GM is investing in Mitra Chem as part of its Series B funding round. The round will bring in 60 million US dollars for the California-based technology company, however, GM’s share remains open. What is clear, however, is that the US carmaker “led” the Series B round and wants to use the investment to accelerate the commercialisation of affordable batteries for its electric cars.
Specifically, GM and Mitra Chem will develop iron-based cathode materials such as lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) for batteries compatible with General Motors’ Ultium electric car platform. “This is a strategic investment that will further help reinforce GM’s efforts in EV batteries, accelerate our work on affordable battery chemistries like LMFP and support our efforts to build a US-focused battery supply chain,” expresses Gil Golan, GM Vice President, Technology Acceleration and Commercialization. And, “GM is accelerating larger investments in critical subdomains of battery technology, like cell chemistry, components and advanced cell production processes. Mitra Chem’s labs, methods and talent will fit well with our own R&D team’s work.”
According to GM, Mitra Chem’s R&D facility can “simulate, synthesize and test thousands of cathode designs monthly, ranging in size from grams to kilograms”. The AI-powered processes are expected to support significantly shorter learning cycles and thus shorter time-to-market for new battery cell formulas. There is talk of “a 90 per cent reduction in the time between lab and production”.
“GM’s investment in Mitra Chem will not only help us develop affordable battery chemistries for use in GM vehicles, but also will fuel our mission to develop, deploy and commercialize U.S. made, iron-based cathode materials that can power EVs, grid-scale electrified energy storage and beyond,” says Vivas Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Mitra Chem. He says his company’s goal is to transform the cathode from a speciality chemical into a platform technology that differentiates cell performance depending on the end application.