From the first electric vehicle era: The 1922 Detroit Electric Model 90, in the lobby of Our Next Energy, could go up to 50 miles on a charge. Photo: The Electric

The Electric: Automakers Are Suddenly Serious About Next-Generation Batteries

By  |  Sept. 18, 2022 2:00 PM PDT
Photo: From the first electric vehicle era: The 1922 Detroit Electric Model 90, in the lobby of Our Next Energy, could go up to 50 miles on a charge. Photo: The Electric

Last week, greater Detroit hosted two big industry conferences—The Battery Show and the Detroit auto show. The tone at both suggested that the new Inflation Reduction Act, which allocates about $100 billion for electric vehicles and batteries, has triggered a sea change among automakers, which are suddenly ultra-eager to sign contracts for the production of next-generation batteries. This week, we look at Our Next Energy, one of the companies benefiting from this change. 

Even as they rush to electrify their fleets, auto companies for the most part have shied away from risky bets on next-generation electrodes and batteries. But over the past month, that’s changed: Battery startups tell me that auto and battery manufacturers are suddenly eager to sign supply deals for next-generation batteries—even though most of the startups are still years from delivering a commercial product at high volume.

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