Lithium metal start-up SES raises $139m in funding round led by General Motors

by Michael Green
GM has said weight and space savings from smaller battery packs 'could help with vehicle light-weighting or create more room for additional technology'. Photo: Steve Fecht for GM
Lithium metal start-up SES has raised $139m (£99m) in a funding round led by General Motors.

World Battery News reported last month that GM was partnering with SES, formerly known as SolidEnergy Systems, to build a manufacturing line for "high-performance” prototype electric vehicle batteries in the US state of Massachusetts by 2023.

CEO and founder of SES, Qichao Hu, said yesterday that the Series D funding would "help accelerate technology development, significantly expand our technical, business and manufacturing teams, and expedite the commercialisation of Li-Metal batteries”.

'Incredible potential'

GM executive vice-president, Matt Tsien, said the car giant has been "rapidly driving down battery cell costs and improving energy density, and our work with SES technology has incredible potential to deliver even better EV performance for customers who want more range at a lower cost”.

"This investment by GM and others will allow SES to accelerate their work and scale up their business.”

Other contributors to the funding round included existing investors SK Inc., Temasek, Applied Ventures LLC, Shanghai Auto and Vertex.

GM president Mark Reuss said last month that the initial prototype batteries being developed with SES had already completed 150,000 simulated test miles at research and development labs at GM’s Global Technical Center in Michigan.

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