ITOCHU Announces Investment in a Manufacturer of Next-Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries
December 17, 2018
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has acquired equity shares issued through third-party allotment by 24M Technologies, Inc. (headquartered in Massachusetts, USA; Richard Feldt, CEO; hereinafter “24M”), which engages in the research and development of semisolid lithium-ion batteries. Through this investment, ITOCHU and 24M will jointly promote a business involving the global production and development of next-generation lithium-ion batteries.
24M engages in the research and development of semisolid lithium-ion batteries, which surpass existing lithium-ion batteries in terms of safety, energy density, manufacturing cost, and other aspects. It has established a unique manufacturing process by significantly improving and simplifying the process for existing lithium-ion batteries and acquired a technology patent for the process. The company operates a demonstration pilot plant in the United States. The greatest advantage of the process is the price competitiveness, which is enabled by the decrease use of components and a simplified manufacturing process, in addition to maintaining and improving the performance of existing lithium-ion batteries.
24M will grant the license to the technology patent to multiple manufacturing partners and plans to construct a commercial production plant, aiming for its operation to commence in 2020. Demand for lithium-ion batteries is growing rapidly at present due to the spread of electric vehicles and renewable energy.
To respond to the demand for batteries that is growing all over the world, ITOCHU will develop 24M’s licensing business for semisolid battery manufacturing on a global scale and expand the battery manufacturing business, including the supply of battery components and the delivery of manufacturing equipment, which it operates with local partners from areas of demand.
ITOCHU has been operating an energy storage system business, mainly in Japan. As of October 2018, the company had sold a cumulative total of about 10,000 energy storage systems (equivalent to 95MWh/30MW). It plans to expand this business not only in Japan, but also globally. Through the investment in 24M, ITOCHU will establish a system for the stable procurement of lithium-ion batteries as the core component of energy storage systems.
ITOCHU announced its new medium-term management plan in May this year. The company has put up Reinvented Business as one of its basic policies under the plan and has been making company-wide efforts to evolve its business model and improve the value across the Group value chain.
ITOCHU will evolve its battery business, which it has cultivated, together with 24M and contribute to building a distributed energy society in Japan.
Overview of 24M
|Company name||24M Technologies, Inc.|
|Representative||Richard M Feldt|
|Number of employees||56 (5 full-time executive officers)|
The image of semisolid lithium-ion batteries developed by 24M