This isn’t the first time this Michigan startup has made news in these pages. The company ONE (for Our Next Energy) managed to travel more than 1,200 km on a single charge in a Tesla Model S equipped with an experimental battery developed by the firm.
This time, it’s BMW‘s turn to take an interest in this Michigan-based company. Indeed, BMW and ONE have signed an agreement in principle to integrate the startup’s technology into a prototype BMW iX. The two partners hope to complete the assembly of this prototype by the end of the year and push the possible range to more than 600 miles (or more than 965 km).
It should be remembered that BMW i Ventures had already expressed its desire to invest in the Michigan company earlier last October. This new agreement – for the development of this prototype – is therefore not surprising.
Our Next Energy intends to marry a basic lithium iron phosphate battery (called Aries) with another battery whose chemistry is adapted for a longer range (this one is called Gemini). Because of the rising cost of some of the materials needed to make batteries – notably nickel and cobalt – lithium iron phosphate battery technology has gained popularity in recent months, even though the range of this type of battery is often less. There is also the fire hazard associated with these nickel-cobalt batteries that has changed the game for some time.
With the range extender (Gemini) combined with the lithium iron phosphate battery (Aries), it is possible to drive for a longer distance than the one announced by the manufacturers at the factory.
The company’s CEO, Mujeeb Izaz, said in an interview with Automotive News that he is currently looking for a site in the U.S. to build a battery cell production facility, this project being different from the one announced last week when ONE unveiled its agreement with Piston Automotive to manufacture battery cells for the commercial trucking sector.