Ionblox says it has now secured $32 million in a recent Series B funding round. The funds are provided by Lilium, Applied Ventures, Temasek, and Catalus Capital and will help the startup to scale its high-power cells for electric aviation and prototype its fast-charge EV cells.
The batteries have been designed using lithium-ion cells that feature pre-lithiated silicon-dominant anodes. According to Ionblox, this technology results in a significant increase in energy density by 50% and power by five times compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, the batteries can be charged quickly, taking only 10 minutes. Cell performance has been confirmed by the Idaho National Laboratory.
An 80% charge can be achieved in just 10 minutes, equating to 240 miles for a 300-mile vehicle, in the same time it takes to make a quick stop at a gas station. The Idaho National Laboratory confirmed a high energy density of 315 Wh/kg through testing of 12 Ah pouch cells. The battery has been proven to endure 1,000 charge cycles at the C/3 rate while preserving nearly 90% of its original capacity.
“Here at Ionblox, we are commercializing next-generation lithium-ion batteries with pre-lithiated silicon dominant anodes in order to transform the future of electric mobility,” said Sujeet Kumar, chief executive officer at Ionblox. “The funding from this round will enable us to take an important step in our journey to scale our technology and set up our own cell manufacturing in the U.S. and other key markets.”
According to the company, these advancements in battery capability are ideal for next-generation electric aircraft such as eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing), where weight reduction is crucial and power output must be maximized. The pilot production lines of Ionblox are currently producing large-format pouch cells with capacities of up to 50 Ah, which can also be used in ground EVs (Electric Vehicles).
“The Ionblox technology enables one of the highest performance cells for eVTOL aircraft existing today,” said Yves Yemsi, chief operating officer at Lilium. Yemsi’s company will work to integrate the new battery tech into its conforming aircraft, the Lilium Jet.
“Test results to date are showing the technology will deliver not only superior energy and power density for the Lilium Jet at launch but also very good aging performance,” said Yemsi. Lilium said it will support continuous improvement and industrialization of the technology.
The battery provider received a development contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium with the aim of creating low-cost and fast-charging EV batteries. Additionally, Ionblox has entered into a partnership with Applied Materials for the provision of semiconductor equipment.