Volkswagen-backed 24M shows battery without cells and modules

The US battery cell developer 24M, known for its SemiSolid technology, presents a new battery system at the Japan Mobility Show in Toyko this week. ETOP stands for 'Electrode-to-Pack' and means that the electrodes are integrated directly into the battery pack.

Image: 24M

This technology, says 24M, eliminates the need for individual cells and modules. The firm further claims the new system, suitable for electric cars and stationary applications, offers the highest energy density currently available at pack level and enables the combined series and parallel connection of unit electrodes – an industry first, so 24M.

The company explains that current battery packs include inactive, “non-charge-carrying materials” like metals and plastics comprising the cell casing. Eliminating these “interconnect components” has led to packing efficiencies of over 70%, according to 24M. 

The company adds that eliminating additional components also reduces the overall cost of the battery pack. However, how much cost savings these improvements and the combined series and parallel connection offer was not disclosed.

“24M ETOP will be a game-changer for electric mobility and energy storage systems because it delivers unmatched energy density,” said Naoki Ota, 24M President and CEO. 

The technology relies on the company’s Unit Cell. However, Ota added they were moving beyond their “core technology — the 24M SemiSolid manufacturing platform — into a company with a revolutionary technology set that will deliver truly transformative solutions for a better energy future.”

The US-based company emerged from battery manufacturer A123 in 2010. 24M took a big step towards commercialising its semi-solid technology when announcing a licensing agreement with Norway’s Freyr in January 2021. Freyr will produce 24M battery cells in its battery factory in Mo i Rana for use in automotive, maritime applications and energy storage. 

Most importantly, Volkswagen Group took a 25 per cent stake in the US company in 2022. The strategic partnership secures the manufacturer access to 24M SemiSolid technology for its next-gen lithium-ion batteries.

Besides Volkswagen and Freyr, 24M counts Kyocera, Itochu, GPSC and Fujifilm among its clients and partners. In 2019, Kyocera began commercial production and sales of its Enerezza home energy storage product using the 24M SemiSolid and Unit Cell technology. 

24M holds more than 200 patents and employs more than 200 people, with headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts and offices in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The new ETOP technology is still on display at the Japan Mobility Show until November 5. The fair was previously known as the Tokyo Motor Show and counts as Japan’s most important automotive gathering.


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