Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - 15

COVER STORY
Cell-to-pack requires three
conditions for it to be a
rational solution.
high-value range-extender cell that will give an electric
vehicle up to 750 miles' range, " Ijaz said. Gemini's proprietary
technology is supported by more than a dozen
patents. ONE plans to demonstrate a production prototype
Gemini battery in 2023.
" Metro delivery trucks can probably get away without
extended range. But consumer needs are different, "
he said. " Consumers know that one percent of the time,
usually during vacation or holidays, they'll be taking a
trip. They'll buy a car or truck for that one percent of
their annual driving needs; that's just part of the emotional
aspect of a vehicle purchase decision. " Ijaz cited
study data showing about one-third of vehicle owners
will consider an EV for their next vehicle, based on the
range of today's EVs. Demand jumps to about 95% if
current EV range is doubled, he said.
" We need charging infrastructure, but we also need
to extend EV range so that a regional trip - Detroit to
Chicago, or San Francisco to L.A., for example - isn't a
decision to either drive or fly, " he said, because of the
time required for en-route charging. Ijaz also explained
that ONE aims to establish its batteries before SAE
Level 4 vehicle autonomy takes off, a shift that " will
disruptively grow our market. "
ONE is steering clear of nickel-cobalt for its production
batteries because the team believes the chemistry
has the potential to thermally run away if an internal
short develops. " I'd say we should be worried about
the foundation of NCM/NCA, " Ijaz asserted. " The industry
arrived at nickel-cobalt because it was the only
family of cell chemistry to deliver the range numbers. "
He noted that while he's not uncomfortable in his daily
driver, a Tesla Model Y which uses NCA cells, if the
industry avoids nickel-cobalt altogether as EV adoption
rates increase " we'll avoid the risk altogether. "
Engineering an EV battery that's twice as capable as
today's, in terms of energy density, helps ensure that
the battery is not abused or overheated under extreme
use as indicated in its C Rating, the measurement
of current in which a battery is charged and discharged.
With high energy density, the battery is in
effect being babied because it has so much available
energy in relation to most typical duty cycles.
" Thermal management can be optimized; battery
life and overall 'health' are extended by making the
energy reserves, the power-to-energy ratio, so much
greater. " Ijaz equates this to an under-stressed bigblock
V8 that can loaf along generating high torque
at low rpm.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
CEO and founder Mujeeb Ijaz, shown with his 1922 Detroit Electric, is retrofitting
the car with ONE's LFP batteries.
Making cell-to-pack work
Backed by investors including BMW i Ventures, Bill Gates'
Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Volta Energy Technologies,
ONE has grown from two founding employees in late 2020 to 80,
mostly engineers, today. That's set to double within the next year
as the company launches a pack-assembly plant in Michigan in
November 2022, ramps up a new cell R&D facility near San
Francisco, continues Gemini development, and finalizes Aries validation
and testing prior to late-2022 production " for a customer's
delivery vehicle, " according to Ijaz.
ONE recently completed a $60 million bridge round of investment
aimed at funding manufacturing development in the U.S., noted business
manager Nick Twork. It also hired Dr. Steven Kaye as its new
CTO. Kaye previously led battery materials R&D in Apple's Special
Projects Group. He holds over 60 patents covering battery cathode,
anode, electrolyte, cell architecture and pack designs.
March 2022 15
LINDSAY BROOKE

Automotive Engineering - March 2022

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