AM Batteries Closes $30M Series B led by Toyota Ventures to Accelerate the Commercialization of its Dry Battery Electrode Technology
AM Batteries, a pioneer in the field of lithium-ion dry-electrode technologies, today announced it closed a $30M Series B in an oversubscribed funding round led by Toyota Ventures. New investment combines strategic corporate support from Porsche Ventures and Asahi Kasei, with financial investment from RA Capital Management - Planetary Health, Wilson Sonsini, and Industry Ventures. The round also includes existing investors such as Anzu Partners, TDK Ventures, Creative Ventures, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures, Foothill Ventures, and Zeon Ventures.
As more sustainability-focused gigafactories dot the world in places like Asia, Europe, and the United States, efficiencies in battery manufacturing are paramount. With strong commercial traction from tier-one battery producers, AMB’s funding from a robust set of strategic and financial investors will help the company develop and drive the commercialization of dry powder coating technology and equipment for low-cost lithium-ion battery manufacturing.
Solvent-Free, Dry-Electrode Manufacturing for Batteries: Our Investment in AM Batteries
Electrode fabrication is the first stage in battery manufacturing, and the conventional process is lengthy and costly. It involves a “wet coating” that most commonly includes N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as a solvent, followed by drying and compression. The drying process requires a large physical footprint — the equivalent size of a football field — and NMP is inherently toxic, so recovery is required. Both the drying and recovery processes require high operating temperatures and result in high energy consumption and operating costs, equivalent to approximately 32% of the total cost of battery manufacturing and 50% of the energy consumption.
AM Batteries’ process does not require energy-consuming evaporation or solvent-recovery. AM Batteries’ dry-electrode manufacturing technology uses an electrostatic spray deposition technique: active materials (cathode/anode) are electrostatically charged, deposited onto metal foil current collectors, and then processed to their final state. AM Batteries has found that this dry process results in 1) a 40% reduction in capital required for electrode equipment investment; 2) a 50% reduction in electricity usage of the plant; and 3) reduced cell cost. In addition, AM Batteries’ electrodes also offer the potential for fast-charging and higher-energy density batteries.