Range anxiety is becoming less and less of a problem as battery tech progresses. Take for example the BMW iX xDrive50 and its ability to cover 324 miles on a single charge, according to the official EPA number. It’s a decent number once you consider the sheer size and especially the weight of BMW’s bulky electric SUV. Granted, that number decreases to 305 miles if you opt for the 21-inch wheels, while the larger and more aerodynamic 22-inch set nets you a 315-mile range.
But what if the iX were to cover nearly double the distance of the least efficient version? This is where Michigan-based energy storage company Our Next Energy comes in. Backed by BMW i Ventures, ONE has developed what it refers to as the Gemini Dual-Chemistry battery that has a less harmful impact on the environment. The more sustainable solution cuts down on the amount of lithium used by 20% and graphite by 60%.
ONE mentions it reduces the use of nickel and cobalt to a minimum while massively boosting the iX’s range to 600 miles. The two companies will finalize the prototype vehicle with the experimental battery pack by the end of the year. According to CEO Mujeeb Ijaz, the plan is to cram in twice the energy available in today’s battery to guarantee long-distance driving in the real world with fewer stops for recharging.
But why is it called Dual-Chemistry anyway? Because it combines a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode with ONE’s own chemistry that makes generous use of manganese while significantly reducing nickel and cobalt. It’s still a work in progress as the company continues to test various blends to maximize performance and achieve a greater range.
The LFP will be responsible for nearly 99% of the total range, with the remaining 1% from ONE’s own cells to come into play whenever the vehicle’s maximum power is needed. In addition, the proprietary portion of the battery will also slow down the deterioration of the LFP cells. At the same time, the company founded in 2020 wants to use safer raw materials in electric vehicles.
Source: Our Next Energy (ONE)