Boston-based energy storage and advanced materials company Nanoramic Laboratories announced a strategic investment from GM Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of General Motors.
The collaboration will focus on the joint development and application of Nanoramic’s proprietary “Neocarbonix” technology for electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries that are designed to enhance battery cost, efficiency, and sustainability.
Nanoramic claims that its proprietary Neocarbonix technology eliminates the need for a chemical called N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (or NMP) solvent in the manufacturing process – a source of significant pollution with current lithium-ion battery production methods.
The company also says its technology achieves this by replacing conventional binder systems with a 3D nanocarbon mesh that ultimately allows the discharging and recharging processes to occur more efficiently and at an improved level of performance compared to existing alternatives on the market.
In a press release on the investment this week, Nanoramic’s CEO, Eric Kish, said GM’s involvement will help lower the cost of EV batteries and improve the sustainability of battery production amid increasing demand in the years to come.
Likewise, GM Ventures President Kent Helfrich said the company’s work with Nanoramic will “improve both cost and sustainability in battery manufacturing for our Ultium EV Platform.”
Despite a broader market shift toward EVs, automakers have struggled to find ways to capture margins similar to their gas-powered counterparts, partially due to the intense costs and resources needed for EV batteries and the rare earths within them.
GM’s aims to ramp up EV production have increased the company’s need to improve profitability, and in turn, have made the partnership with Nanoramic a timely strategy to help the company achieve its goal of producing one million EVs per year by 2025.
Nanoramic’s impressive claims of significant waste reduction and improved sustainability are poised to pique the interest of several EV manufacturers, especially amid the company’s partnership with GM.
Though, the extent to which broader industry players tap into Nanoramic’s EV battery technology has yet to be seen at a mass scale but a key development to watch in the constantly evolving EV market.