Developing sustainable energy solutions has been the focus of our Next Energy, or ONE, especially with regard to electric vehicles (EVs). With its novel “Gemini” dual-chemistry battery, which aims to improve the sustainability and driving range of electric cars while being compatible with current EV battery pack spaces, the Michigan-based battery firm is making significant progress.
Through the integration of its proof-of-concept Gemini battery into a modified BMW iX xDrive50 luxury EV SUV, ONE recently made significant progress toward demonstrating the capabilities of its battery. The vehicle achieved an impressive 608 miles of range on a full charge, according to Europe’s optimistic (WLTP) cycle.
Based on the EPA’s testing methods, this number is expected to be around 516 miles when converted to U.S. standards. With an EPA-estimated range of up to 324 miles for the 2022–2023 model years, this is a major gain over the conventional iX xDrive50.
The Gemini battery is distinguished by its novel design, which combines two different cell types with specialized battery chemistries in each. The lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode, renowned for its low energy density and relative scarcity in North America, serves as the main power source for electric motors. According to EPA guidelines, this component manages 99 percent of daily driving tasks and gives the iX a range of about 127 miles.
The second anode-free cell takes over once the first one runs out of energy. This secondary cell uses less cobalt and nickel and has a high energy density because of its unique manganese-rich material. According to ONE, the Gemini battery can save costs and lessen environmental effects by up to 20 percent when it comes to lithium usage and up to 60 percent when it comes to graphite consumption. With the help of a patented DC-to-DC converter, the anode-free cell’s power is directed toward the dual-chemistry battery, increasing the iX’s anticipated range to more than 510 miles (EPA requirements).
A representative for ONE stressed that the company is actively refining the technology, with the next phase involving collaboration with an undisclosed automaker for another prototype. It’s important to note that the BMW iX with the Gemini battery is currently a proof-of-concept and not scheduled for production. These demonstrations are similar to a previous prototype fitted onto a Tesla Model S.
Regarding the most recent workforce modifications, which resulted in the layoff of 25% of the workforce, ONE made it clear that the decisions were made to prioritize core priorities and respond to market realities. The corporation still views Gemini as a top priority, the spokesman said, notwithstanding these adjustments. The Gemini battery’s release schedule was said to be determined by prospective customers’ demands for certain applications. At this point, the dual-chemistry battery is not intended to be sold separately as a retrofit option for privately owned EVs.