EV Battery Research Startup SES Enters JV With Honda Ahead Of Going Public In SPAC Merger: What You Need To Know

Japan’s Honda Motor Co HMC said on Tuesday it has signed a joint venture agreement with the U.S. based battery research startup SES Holdings to launch higher density and low-cost lithium-metal batteries for electric vehicles.

What Happened: Honda said the joint venture will focus on making safe, durable and higher capacity batteries with lithium-metal anode that are expected to deliver higher energy density than the lithium-ion batteries, which usually use carbon-based materials for the anode.

Honda last year said it aims to increase the ratio of electric vehicles to 40% of overall sales by 2030, to 80% by 2035, and to 100% by 2040.

“The battery is an essential component of EVs, and Honda has been concurrently looking into several options toward the realization of high-capacity, safe and low-cost next-generation batteries,” Shinji Aoyama, managing executive officer in charge of electrification at Honda, said in a statement.

Honda plans to pick about 2% of the shares in the Boston-based electric vehicle battery startup, which is set to go public by merging with Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition IVAN in a deal that could value the combined company at about $3.6 billion. 

The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange.

See Also: How Electric Vehicle Battery Trends Could Shape Up In 2022

Why It Matters: Battery development is key towards mass adoption and legacy automakers such as General Motors Co GM, Ford Motor Co F and Tesla Inc TSLA are rushing to for their own partnerships for either development or securing the raw materials.

Auto OEMs and battery companies are exploring various options including the silicon anodes, solid state, stationary storage, lithium phosphates and other techs to develop and launch batteries with higher energy densities and lower costs.

See Also: Why Analyst Sees GM's All-Electric Silverado Launch On Wednesday As A 'Renaissance' Moment For Legacy Automaker

Partnerships worth billions of dollars have already been announced including GM’s partnership with Ultium, Ford with South Korea’s SK Innovation. Elon Musk-led Tesla has multi-company partnership just like others, including a long-term agreement with China’s CATL, also the world’s largest battery maker.

Price Action: Honda shares closed 0.9% lower at $30.4 a share on Tuesday.

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