Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday announced it will partner with Woburn, Massachusetts-based Factorial Energy to develop solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.
The announcement comes just a month after a similar partnership was announced between Hyundai Motor Group and Factorial. It also comes the same week Nissan announced it will start offering cars with solid-state batteries by 2028.
Like the Hyundai Motor Group deal, Mercedes will also make an equity investment in Factorial. The investment will be big enough that Mercedes gets to appoint a board member at Factorial.
Factorial has been developing solid-state battery technology for the past six years (previously as Lionano) and includes former Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America Joe Taylor as executive chairman. Former Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche and former Ford CEO Mark Fields are also on Factorial’s advisory board. The company is headed by Siyu Huang who is also a co-founder.
Most major automakers are looking to introduce solid-state batteries later this decade. The batteries, which derive their name from their solid electrolytes, promise improved range and shorter charge times compared to current liquid-type batteries, as well as improved safety and lower costs.
According to Mercedes, Factorial has developed a solid-state battery that offers up to 50% longer range per charge, increased safety, and cost parity with conventional lithium-ion batteries. Mercedes expects to start testing a prototype solid-state battery developed with Factorial as early as next year.
While solid-state batteries aren’t a new technology, hurdles remain when it comes to automotive applications, particularly manufacturing the batteries at the scale and durability required for cars.