Honda announced that it signed a joint development agreement in the area of lithium-metal (anode) batteries with SES, a Boston-based EV battery research and development company.
SES has already attracted a total of six global automakers, including General Motors (read more here), Hyundai, Honda, Geely, SAIC, Kia, as well as SK and LG battery manufacturers, to work together on next-generation batteries.
The company plans to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transaction, which for Honda will be an opportunity to acquire a 2% stake in the SES AI Corporation (the intended new name of the combined company).
See the full PIPE Investor Presentation, released on January 14, 2022 here.
Honda explains that the partnership with SES will come on top of its own research in the field of solid-state batteries.
“The battery is a crucial component of battery electric vehicles (EV) and Honda, which is accelerating electrification of its products on a global basis, has been concurrently looking into several options for next-generation batteries, including the all-solid-state batteries Honda is developing independently. This joint development agreement with SES is part of the overall battery strategy of Honda.”
“From here onward, Honda and SES will pursue joint research for the realization of safe, high-durability and high-capacity next-generation EV batteries. “
One thing is sure, Honda is shifting towards deeper electrification and is looking for battery options (just like everybody else).
Shinji Aoyama, Managing Executive Officer in Charge of Electrification, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said:
“The battery is an essential component of EVs, and Honda has been concurrently looking into several options toward the realization of high-capacity, safe and low-cost next-generation batteries. Recognizing the advanced technologies of SES, Honda signed a joint development agreement with SES with the aim to establish a good relationship with SES and expeditiously generate substantial achievements through our joint research activities. Honda will continue to establish collaborative relationships with companies which have advanced technologies, as needed, to offer highly-competitive and attractive EVs to our customers.”
SES appears to be a very interesting battery start-up, as it promises high energy density (>400 Wh/kg and >1000 Wh/L) combined with high power output and high longevity:
- High energy density: >400 Wh/kg and >1000 Wh/L
- Longevity: projected up to 800 cycles (Implied lifetime: >300,000 miles for long-range EVs)
- Fast charging: to 80% of battery capacity in just 15 minutes
Currently, SES is able to produce 9 Ah cells (30/31 layers). The 50 Ah (20+ layers) version of the SES cell will be in pre-production in 2022, while the 100 Ah (30+ layers) version will follow in “2023+”.
In one of the recent tweets, the company highlighted test results of 4.2 Ah cells that achieved energy density of 372 Wh/kg and were able to withstand a high power charge/discharge currents up to 7C, retaining 90% of standard capacity. The full report from the tests is publicly available here.