Northvolt, a Sweden-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer, has acquired Cuberg, a U.S.-based battery technology company delivering lithium metal cells produced on existing lithium-ion manufacturing lines for electromobility solutions.
Cuberg, spun out of Standford University in 2015, developed battery cells that is said to deliver over 70% increased range and capacity, compared to lithium-ion cells designed for high-rated electric aviation applications. The technology is compatible with the existing lithium-ion manufacturing ecosystem and is expected to be deployed in the electromobility market within three years.
The deal is expected to help the two companies build their automotive and industrial product portfolio intending to commercialize cells in 2025.
Following the acquisition, Northvolt will build a technology center in Silicon Valley, California. Cuberg will lead Northvolt’s U.S. operations to develop affordable next-generation battery cells for the electromobility market.
The technology center will focus on the research and development of materials for lithium-ion anode and electrolyte technologies to boost lithium metal cell development to optimize the technology for automotive applications. The center will also serve as a testbed for technologies advancing digitalization, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Peter Carlsson, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Northvolt said that the combination of Cuberg’s strengths with the capabilities and technology of Northvolt would allow making significant improvements in performance and safety while driving down the cost for the next-generation battery cells.
“This is critical for accelerating the shift to fully electric vehicles and responding to the needs of the leading automotive companies within a relevant time frame,” Carlsson added.
Richard Wang, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cuberg said, “Northvolt brings technology and manufacturing capabilities that will accelerate the commercialization and adoption of our lithium metal technology.”
In October 2020, Northvolt announced the signing of a $600 million private placement led by Baillie Gifford, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, and Volkswagen. The funding would help the company make further investment in expanding its production and recycling capacity as well as research and development activities.
According to Mercom’s 2020 Q4 and Annual Funding and M&A Report for Storage, Grid, and Efficiency, there were 19 M&A transactions in the Battery Storage category in 2020. Three of these transactions involved lithium-ion battery technology.