Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Battery manufacturing start-up InoBat Auto is valued at mid-hundreds of millions of pounds after the latest investment from US electric vehicle group Ideanomics.

The injection by the New York-listed company follows investments from miner Rio Tinto and Indian battery group Amara Raja late last year, and comes as fans pour money into these start-ups, which are expected to dominate the automotive industry when it comes to electric switch. force.

The two parties have not disclosed financial terms, but the investment values ​​InoBat mid-level hundreds of millions of pounds, according to people familiar with the matter.

NoordVolt, which at the end of last year became the first European group to manufacture its own cells, attracted investments from Volkswagen, BMW and Volvo and valued the group at $ 12 billion.

Other new European businesses, including the United Kingdom BritishVolt, are also looking for investments to help them open plants. Europe’s car bosses have warned of the need for homemade battery makers to ensure the region does not cede technological leadership to China or Tesla as the industry increasingly shifts to electric vehicles.

But while the start-ups are a few years of full production, established battery manufacturers, mainly from Asia, are already preparing to open a new wave of production plants in Europe.

LG Chem and CATL will have open sites in Poland and Germany this year, and SK Innovation will expand its existing Hungarian facility.

InoBat will use the funding from Ideanomics to complete its research center and open its first pilot plant in Slovakia, which is already under construction, by the end of this year.

The company, which expects to target the premium side of the electric vehicle market, aims to open several full-scale factories worldwide by 2024.

Listed on the Nasdaq, Ideanomics invests in electric vehicle technologies and has interests in the electric motorcycle group Energica and the Chinese beginner Silk EV, as well as the owner of the wireless charging group Wave.

The company will work with InoBat to “develop and commercialize standard and custom battery packs for the U.S. market,” as well as provide batteries for its own businesses once they begin production, he said Tuesday.

Robin Mackie, Ideanomics’ head of motor vehicles, said: “With Rio Tinto and Amara Raja’s recent strategic investments and relationships in Europe and Asia, we believe InoBat will have access to the materials and rare earths needed to scale batteries. and help reduce supply chain risks across our Ideanomics Mobility operating companies. ”

Marian Bocek, InoBat’s CEO, said the partnership with Ideanomics “enables us to expand our battery technology for commercial EVs on the field as well as in the field, while increasing our capacity and future opportunities to enter the US e-mobility market. support”.

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