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Company reaches breakthrough on EV battery technology that will lead to safer cars and longer driving ranges

It's part of a busy time for the automaker, which was recently named Forbes' third-best startup employer.

Aries II, New EV battery technology lead to longer driving ranges

Photo Credit: One.Ai

An electric vehicle battery breakthrough is emerging from Michigan, made with locally sourced metals that are cheaper and can power cars and light trucks

The news comes from Our Next Energy, aka ONE, which started operations in 2020, as InsideEVs reported. And now, the developers of the Aries II promise long range, better safety, and more sustainable production as they plan to roll out their innovation next year. 

It's all part of a tech race of sorts by battery experts worldwide. They are searching for the best mix of metals and other materials to create the chemistry needed for batteries to charge and discharge with great efficiency and at low cost. 

Aries II has what ONE experts tout as better battery chemistry. They are using iron and manganese instead of nickel and cobalt as part of lithium-iron phosphate batteries. 

Cobalt and nickel are among the expensive metals often used in U.S. EV power packs that are difficult to mine. Most of the iron ONE is using, however, is sourced in North America, part of their less-expensive approach. 

The Aries II touts a 350-mile range, accomplished in part by stuffing more cells into the power pack, according to ONE. The thinner cells reduce heat, making the battery safer. The iron-based chemistry increases energy density by 16%

"When the team took on the challenge of achieving energy parity with (nickel-cobalt) batteries, we looked at everything, from improving cell chemistry to redesigning the inside of the pack," ONE chief battery engineer Chris Hughes told InsideEVs. 

Bringing the lithium-iron phosphate performance to near that of the nickel-cobalt range is huge, as nickel-cobalt has long been used in the EV industry, per InsideEVs. The report noted that ONE's design costs 25% less to make, largely because costly nickel and cobalt aren't needed. The company reports that its lithium-iron phosphate tech can match the "range and mass" of nickel-cobalt to within 6%

What's more, ONE plans for the Aries II to be widely used, "customizable for all passenger vehicles," according to a video clip

The clip shows packs being made at the Michigan plant. They appear to fit on the bottom of the vehicle frame, between the front and back axles. 

It's a busy time for ONE, which was recently named Forbes' third-best startup employer. The company has also expanded into grid tech and was valued at more than $1 billion during a recent investment series, according to the company newsroom

Production on Aries II is slated to start in late 2024 at the Van Buren Township plant, but ONE is promising more to come. In 2025, officials plan to unveil the Gemini, which is billed to provide more than 600 miles on a single charge. 

"Mass EV adoption won't happen until drivers are comfortable with an electric vehicle as their only vehicle. Consumers want vehicle range that allows them to take a cross-country road trip," ONE states on its website. 

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