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GM Ventures invests in startup building fast charge-capable battery tech – TechCrunch

Soelect, a North Carolina-based battery technology startup, has closed an $11 million Series A round. It plans to use the fresh capital to scale up its fast-charging anode technologies, which could enable the next generation of electric vehicle batteries.

In addition to lead investor Lotte Chemical and investment firm KTB Network, GM Ventures, General Motors’ venture capital arm, signed a strategic investor. GM Ventures tends to invest in companies that offer transportation safety or sustainability solutions that can then be implemented in future GM vehicles, manufacturing facilities and operations, said GM spokesman Mark Lubin.

“One of the competitive advantages of adding Soelect to GM Ventures’ portfolio is its fast-charging anode technologies, which could serve as enablers for future lithium-metal and solid-state EV battery anode designs,” Lubin told TechCrunch. “This investment and others in this area expand GM Ventures’ efforts to accelerate the advancement of battery technologies that could increase range, improve efficiency and lower costs in future GM products.”

Soelect isn’t the only battery company the VC has invested in recently. The company also invested in SolidEnergy Systems (SES), an MIT spinout startup with an “anode-less” lithium-metal battery that improves overall battery life and makes batteries twice as energy-dense, and partnered with SolidEnergy Systems. SES and GM build a prototyping facility in Massachusetts and are aiming to have a high capacity pre-production battery by 2023.

While GM is in the process of building two battery manufacturing plants for its Ultium batteries with partner LG Chem, the company is open to other potentially fruitful battery partnerships. In October, the automaker shared plans to build one new battery research facility in Michigan to help develop battery technology that will result in long-lasting, fast-charging, and sustainable batteries. GM wants to produce batteries with an energy density of up to 1,200 watt hours per liter and reduce costs by at least 60 percent.

GM Ventures invests in startup building fast charge-capable battery tech – TechCrunch Source link GM Ventures invests in startup building fast charge-capable battery tech – TechCrunch