Factorial Energy, a US-based solid-state battery cell producer supported by Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis and Hyundai-Kia, is underway with its partnership with Young Poong, a South Korean battery recycling firm. The alliance is focused predominantly on contributing towards research in solid-state battery recycling.
The operational framework involves Factorial offering excess lithium metal substance from its battery production process to Young Poong. This surplus material from Factorial, is then used by Young Poong to devise an efficient mechanism for recycling lithium metal. The ultimate objective is to reuse the recycled lithium metal in Factorial’s new solid-state batteries, hence successfully achieving a closed recycling loop.
This collaborative project essentially focuses on recycling surplus material accumulated from Factorial’s existing pilot operations as well as upcoming production facilities. Factorial, that’s situated in Woburn, Massachusetts, has had an active presence in South Korea and Japan since 2022 and has been making proactive inroads into the European market, notably with a decided expansion in Germany.
Partnerships with Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, and Hyundai-Kia have been a value-adding component for Factorial since 2021. April of that year saw the company pioneering a 40 Ah cell with solid electrolyte, an invention aimed at boosting electric car range by 20 to 50%. Testing results in July 2021 revealed that it was possible to maintain a capacity retention rate of 97.3% for a 40 Ah cell at 25 degrees Celsius after 675 cycles of use.
Factorial’s breakthrough “FEST” (Factorial Electrolyte System Technology) was revealed in the spring of the same year. This technology provides a substantial upgrade in terms of charge range and safety as compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries, while also being produced at comparable costs. Additionally, much of the production process of FEST could be accommodated within existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing amenities.
The year 2022 saw Factorial beginning the construction of a new developmental and production facility at Methuen, a suburb located near Boston in Massachusetts. Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz significantly contributed to the financing of this endeavor through a funding round conducted in early 2022, raising US$200 million. This move further strengthened the alliance and underlined the commitment to advancing the solid-state battery technology.