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18 Oct 2021

Apple Veteran Gains Support from Michigan Battery Startup

The Index Today

With the electric vehicle industry booming, Our Next Energy (ONE) is the latest to join the race and has raised $25 million in funds with the support of Bill Gate’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

The startup company was established a year ago in Novi, Michigan, and has developed engineering processes to maximize the usage of Lithium-iron-phosphate in batteries. These batteries offer more stability than power and are used by many electric automakers around the globe.

Mujeeb Ijaz, ONE’s founder and CEO said, “The whole foundation of the industry right now is being built on nickel-cobalt. Because range was so important to the end customer, that was seen as the only way to get there. We’re offering an alternative.”

Our Next Energy (ONE) has established plans to set up a factory in Michigan where battery packs will be assembled. CEO Ijaz has announced landing his first customer for the company, an electric vehicle company which manufactures delivery trucks.

The electric vehicle market is currently facing a shortage of batteries which has pushed prices of raw materials around the globe. Companies are spending billions of dollars to manage risks associated with Nickel, a key metal used for battery manufacturing. This has led to startups like ONE to develop cheaper and safer alternatives. BMW iVentures, Assembly Ventures, Volta Energy Technologies, Flex Ltd are among the many companies who are investing in ONE’s latest funding round.

Board member Libby Wayman stated, “We think he’s ahead of the curve. This is the beginning of a trend where people will look to alternative chemistries to achieve energy density, safety, supply chain optionality, and supply-chain redundancy.”

Veteran Mujeeb Ijaz has spent over 30 years in battery research and was previously working as the chief technology officer at A123 Systems LLC. Soon after, Apple Inc hired him where he began the launch of his startup to join the fast-growing electric vehicle industry.

What sets ONE apart from the rest is the ability to engineer a “cell-to-pack” which eliminates the need to bundle modules in a pack, a common approach currently used by most competitors in the industry. ONE is the first company to engineer the battery which offers more power and driving range.

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