NanoXplore and Martinrea International, a global automotive supplier engaged in the design, development and manufacturing of highly engineered, value-added Lightweight Structures and Propulsion Systems, through its subsidiary, Martinrea Innovation Developments, have announced NanoXplore's purchase of Martinrea Innovation's 50% equity stake in VoltaXplore.
NanoXplore now owns 100% of the equity and intellectual property in VoltaXplore and Martinrea has increased its existing equity position in NanoXplore from 21.1% to 22.7%. VoltaXplore was formed as a joint venture between NanoXplore and Martinrea in 2021 to collaborate on developing graphene-enhanced Li-ion battery cells for electric vehicles and grid storage and to explore the potential to build a battery gigafactory. NanoXplore will seek to finance the battery gigafactory within VoltaXplore.
The purchase transaction simplifies VoltaXplore's capital structure to enhance the access to government and private fundings. Moreover, concurrent to this transaction, NanoXplore and Martinrea agreed to extend their existing graphene commercial agreement by another 5 years to 10 years.
Soroush Nazarpour, President and Chief Executive Officer of NanoXplore, commented: "We are closer to building VoltaXplore's gigafactory and I am quite excited about the future of VoltaXplore. The joint venture was successful in the full demonstration of our battery technology and Martinrea's support enabled VoltaXplore to de-risk this project significantly. We believe strongly in VoltaXplore and the value proposition that graphene brings to the performance of our cells. As we work towards our goal to build the gigafactory, we are looking to bring in new investors and customers, as well as government financing to support and realize our ambitions. I would like to thank the entire team at Martinrea which was instrumental in helping bring VoltaXplore to this point. Martinrea remains committed to NanoXplore's success, as evidenced by its increased share position in our company and the extension of our commercial agreement. We will continue to work together in building graphene-enhanced solutions in the automotive sector".
Pat D'Eramo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Martinrea, commented: "We have jointly created value in VoltaXplore through building a demonstration facility and proving the technology and value proposition of graphene-enhanced Li-ion batteries. We remain supportive of VoltaXplore and will continue to benefit from its success through our increased equity position in NanoXplore. Though we are not pursuing the production of batteries at Martinrea, we believe strongly in graphene and will continue to work with NanoXplore to develop graphene-based solutions within Martinrea".
It was reported that following the successful testing and demonstrated strong performance of 18650 cells, VoltaXplore is in the process of retooling its current 1MWh battery facility to produce the larger-format 21700 cylindrical cell. This new cell dimension is an industry standard in the electric mobility market and VoltaXplore plans to produce approximately 130 million of these cells annually at its gigafactory.
These batteries will benefit from NanoXplore's proprietary SiGTM additive technology solution, which offers the following performance benefits:
- 8-10% (or 40 kilometers) increase in vehicle range due to increased energy density.
- 10-13-minute charging time due to graphene's high electrical conductivity.
- The batteries are 10% cooler than typical Li-ion batteries with lower risk of thermal runaway and explosions.