BMW to test an iX with a 600-mile range

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DETROIT — BMW will install and test a long-range battery developed by Michigan-based startup Our Next Energy (ONE) in the BMW iX electric SUV, the companies said Tuesday.

ONE’s Gemini battery will contain two types of battery cells, including one with advanced chemistry that can store more energy and allow a range of 600 miles (965 km) or more between charges, the battery maker said. The vehicle prototype is expected to be completed by the end of the year, ONE said.

The Gemini battery aims to reduce the use of traditional EV battery materials such as cobalt, nickel, graphite and lithium, said Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and CEO of ONE.

Ijaz said ONE is testing different electrode chemistries in Gemini while evaluating potential tradeoffs in terms of cost, energy and durability.

ONE could offer a production version of the battery in three different sizes and prices, Ijaz said, including a low-cost version that would cost the same as today’s conventional nickel and cobalt batteries, “if not a little lower.”

Ijaz said ONE is discussing similar prototype testing of its Gemini battery with other companies.

In March, BMW’s corporate venture arm led a $65 million financing round in ONE. Other investors in that round included Coatue Management, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Assembly Ventures, Flex and Volta Energy Technologies.

In December, ONE said an early prototype of the Gemini battery, retrofitted to a Tesla Model S sedan, delivered a range of more than 1,200 km, far exceeding the best production electric vehicles on the market.

Since its inception in 2020, ONE has focused development on a long-range battery that uses safer and more durable materials, while packing more energy into a smaller, cheaper package.

In a statement, BMW chief executive Juergen Hildinger said the automaker is exploring options “to integrate ONE’s battery technologies into models of our future BEV (battery electric vehicle) product line.

(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; editing by Will Dunham)

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