European battery-maker Northvolt has acquired Cuberg, a US-based battery technology company delivering high-performance lithium-metal cells produced on existing lithium-ion manufacturing lines for electromobility solutions.
Cuberg spun out of Stanford University in 2015 with the goal of commercializing next-generation battery technology based on a liquid electrolyte combined with a lithium metal anode. Cuberg counts numerous innovative mobility companies among its customers, including Boeing, BETA Technologies, Ampaire and VoltAero. The company’s investors and financial backers include Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Activate.org, the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the TomKat Center at Stanford.
The Cuberg team has shown exceptional ability to develop world-class technology, proven results and an outstanding customer base in a lean and efficient organization. Combining these strengths with the capabilities and technology of Northvolt allows us to make significant improvements in both performance and safety while driving down cost even further for next-generation battery cells. This is critical for accelerating the shift to fully electric vehicles and responding to the needs of the leading automotive companies within a relevant time frame.—Peter Carlsson, CEO and Co-Founder, Northvolt
Validated by trusted third parties, the Cuberg cells deliver more than 70% increased range and capacity versus comparable lithium-ion cells designed for high-rate electric aviation applications. Testing in 2020 showed specific energy of 369 Wh/kg; specific power output of 2000 W/kg; and a C/2 cycle life of 370 cycles.
Building on this foundation, Northvolt and Cuberg will mature its automotive and industrial product portfolio with the ambition to industrialize cells in 2025 that exceed 1,000 Wh/L, while meeting the full spectrum of automotive customer requirements.
Cuberg’s technology addresses the biggest challenge with emerging battery technologies: effective manufacturing scale-up. Cuberg has already demonstrated compatibility of its technology with the existing lithium-ion manufacturing ecosystem, which minimizes time to market and enables rapid commercial deployment in the electromobility market. The new technology will be deployed at scale in electromobility markets within three years, beginning with electric aviation.
Northvolt will establish an advanced technology center in Silicon Valley based on the Cuberg acquisition and is actively hiring top battery industry talent to support these efforts. In addition to accelerating the lithium metal cell development and optimizing the technology for automotive applications, the new center will focus on materials research and development for best-in-class lithium-ion anode and electrolyte technologies.
The center will enable Northvolt to engage and partner with the leading technology companies and universities in Silicon Valley, with the aim to bridge ongoing research efforts between Europe and North America. It will also serve as a testbed for methodologies leveraging digitalization, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Northvolt is a European supplier of sustainable, high-quality battery cells and systems. Among Northvolt industrial partners and customers are ABB, BMW Group, Scania, Siemens, Vattenfall, Vestas and the Volkswagen Group.