Startup Our Next Energy is behind energy storage technology
Start up battery Our Next Energy (ONE) and BMW said today that the automaker’s prototype of its flagship EV, iX, will run on ONE’s unique Gemini dual chemistry battery pack by the end of the year.
BMW’s iX was introduced late last year with a maximum range of 324 miles, based on estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency. With the prototype, ONE hopes to nearly double that to 600 miles.
That’s a huge leap above the range of the iX today, which is just above what many automakers say is the 300-mile sweet spot for EV adoption. Such an increase may seem unnecessarily decadent — after all, how many road-trippers travel 600 miles, or eight hours, at highway speeds, without taking a break? But for ONE founder and CEO Mujeeb Ijaz, it’s all about meeting drivers’ expectations, even in the most extreme conditions.
While EVs have made great strides in meeting customer expectations over the past decade, Ijaz feels they’re nowhere near where they need to be when you factor in things like cold weather, towing a trailer, or driving at highway speeds. Towing Ford’s new F-150 Lightning, for example, will reduce range by about half, while many (but not all) EVs will travel about 10% to 20% less than their stated range when driven at a constant drive 120 mph.
“I am fully convinced that in order to solve the market adoption, we need to double the amount of energy on board to be able to handle and overcome all the real-world conditions that will be thrown on EVs,” Ijaz said. † “I’ve seen in 30 years how range has impacted the ability of products to really get into the ethos of serving customers at all levels where adoption can be robust.”
The market’s shift towards SUVs and pickup trucks has only further strengthened his belief that the ideal EV range, as measured by the EPA methodology, is 600 to 700 miles.
“Battery powered platforms that are in the truck market, like the one I’m in right now,” Ijaz said while parked in his new Rivian R1T, “could have at least a 40% delta between the advertised range and the range that you experience, so we decided to solve that problem by setting a new goal.”
To achieve that goal, ONE has developed a new type of battery pack that uses two different chemicals. As I revealed in an exclusive look at ONE’s patent applications, the key to the dual-chemistry package is an advanced set of electronics and software that allows the different cell types to focus on what they do best.