Michigan-based startup Our Next Energy (ONE) this week unveiled a prismatic anode-free battery cell it claims will lay the foundation for 600-mile EVs.
The prototype cell will be integrated into a BMW iX prototype later this year as part of a dual-chemistry battery pack. ONE said in a press release that it’s aiming for a volume-produced version of the dual-chemistry setup, called Gemini, in 2026 that will enable 600 miles of range “in a wide range of vehicle platforms” including trucks and SUVs.
ONE revealed its 600-mile test iX earlier this year but hadn’t yet detailed the chemistries. The startup now says it will pair the anode-free chemistry with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) similar to the kind popularized by Chinese automakers, and now used by Tesla in certain vehicles.
BMW iX prototype to use Our Next Energy mixed-chemistry battery pack
The 1007 Wh/L anode-free cells eliminate the need for graphite and manufacturing equipment associated with anodes, enabling cell costs of $50 per kwh at scale, or about half the cost of current lithium-ion cells, ONE claims.
Anode-free cells typically have a lower life cycle than conventional lithium-ion cells, which would normally make them unsuitable for automotive use. But ONE claims its Gemini dual-chemistry packs solve that problem with a 90% reduction in cycle and peak power requirements, adding that a proprietary DC-DC converter allows the anode-free and LFP chemistries to be integrated into one pack.
Each chemistry is used for a specific function—LFP for daily driving, and anode-free for long-distance trips. With this arrangement, ONE anticipates a 250,000-mile service life.
ONE 1007 Wh/L anode-free battery cell
LFP cells allow consistent charging and reduced demand for difficult-to-source ingredients, but they’re a bit heavier and need a boost in cold weather—likely all remedied with this dual-chemistry approach.
ONE appears to be the only entity trying to take dual-chemistry battery packs mainstream, although it’s certainly not the only company thinking about it. For instance, Nissan has been working on its own solid-state cells, and within that project it hasn’t ruled out combining chemistries within packs.
Drivers of long-range electric vehicles tend rarely to tap into the full range and battery capacity of their EV. So while many startups are betting on faster-charging cells, this approach might prove not only better for automakers but the end user as well.