GM Leads $60-Million Funding Round For Mitra Chem Aimed At Making EV Batteries Cheaper

General Motors (NYSE: GM) has spearheaded a $60 million Series B funding round for Mitra Chem, a pioneering battery materials startup, of which the first $40 million has closed. The collaboration is set to pave the way for the creation of more accessible and cost-effective electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

In collaboration with GM, Mitra Chem will spearhead the development of iron-based cathode active materials (CAM), such as lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP). These CAMs will be utilized to drive the creation of economical and easily obtainable EV batteries that seamlessly integrate with GM’s EV propulsion architecture, known as the Ultium Platform.

Iron-based cathodes offer a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and secure alternative compared to traditional battery technologies like NMC and NCA currently in use. Although they possess a lower energy density than Ni/Co-based ternary cathodes, Mitra Chem aims to uphold the cost-efficiency of iron-based materials while enhancing their energy density.

“GM’s investment in Mitra Chem will not only help us develop affordable battery chemistries for use in GM vehicles but also will fuel our mission to develop, deploy and commercialize U.S. made, iron-based cathode materials that can power EVs, grid-scale electrified energy storage and beyond,” said CEO Vivas Kumar.

GM’s investment aligns with its commitment to establish a battery supply chain within the United States. The automaker has already earmarked a staggering $13.5 billion investment to establish four state-of-the-art battery factories across the U.S. by 2026, boasting a combined annual capacity of 165 gigawatt-hours.

Ultium serves as GM’s innovative electric platform, characterized by a battery design that lays the foundation for the automaker’s ambitious EV roadmap, accommodating a diverse range of future vehicle models.

GM is collaborating with startup SolidEnergy Systems to develop a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, while also partnering with South Korea’s Posco Chemical to construct a $400 million battery materials facility in Canada.

Mitra Chem employs advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize battery development processes. Through AI simulations, synthesis, and rigorous testing of thousands of cathode designs monthly, the startup has achieved a 90% reduction in time to market for new battery cell formulas. With the substantial Series B funding infusion, Mitra Chem is poised to scale its current operations, bolstered by its cutting-edge R&D facility in Mountain View, California.

Mitra Chem’s proprietary “atoms-to-tons acceleration platform” empowers its laboratory operations. Harnessing the capabilities of simulations and physics-informed machine learning models, the startup accelerates every facet of battery cell discovery, cathode synthesis, cell longevity assessment, and the overall scaling process.

The startup’s integrated cloud platform seamlessly aggregates data generated during Mitra Chem’s material creation, property analysis, cell testing, and results evaluation. This streamlined data collection ensures a comprehensive and consistent understanding of information, which in turn enriches AI models’ capacity to learn and optimize.

The firm noted that the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has significantly boosted the need for battery materials produced within the United States, as it introduces consumer tax incentives linked to the utilization of domestically manufactured materials. Among the limited number of American iron-based cathode manufacturers, Mitra Chem claims it is “one of the only U.S.-based iron-based cathode manufacturers that enable purchasers of U.S.-made electric vehicles to qualify for the full suite of tax credits passed in the IRA.”

Information for this briefing was found via TechCrunch, Green Car Congress, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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