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Corporate FAQ L3 - 24M

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does 24M do?
24M answers the world’s need for affordable energy storage by enabling a new, cost-effective class of the lithium-ion battery – powered by semisolid lithium-ion technology. By upending the design of the battery cell, as well as how the batteries are made, the company solves the critical, decades-old challenge associated with the world’s preferred energy storage chemistry: reducing its high cost while improving its performance.

How will 24M’s battery technology benefit the energy industry?
24M has developed a better lithium-ion battery at a lower cost. Our battery cells will accelerate the adoption of affordable energy storage by providing ultra-low cost, high-energy, safe and long-life lithium-ion batteries for grid, transportation and custom energy storage markets.

How are 24M’s battery cells unique?
24M’s cells are powered by revolutionary semisolid lithium-ion, a material science innovation that enables a thick battery electrode. This thick electrode is at the heart of 24M’s new cell design and begets an advanced manufacturing process that, when fully implemented, will reduce the cost of today’s lithium-ion batteries by 50% and improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

What is an electrode?
A lithium-ion electrode consists of a cathode (positive electrode), an anode (negative electrode) and electrolyte as a conductor. Lithium ions (electrically charged particles) travel to and from the anode and cathode.

Why is the semisolid thick electrode so revolutionary?
24M’s simple but revolutionary cell design is made possible by the semisolid thick electrode – a material science innovation originating in Dr. Chiang’s lab at MIT, and the first significant advancement in lithium-ion battery design since its debut more than 20 years ago. Conventional lithium-ion battery cells have a high proportion of inactive, non-charge carrying materials – supporting metals and plastics – that are layered, one-on-top of the other, within a cell’s casing. Those inactive materials are expensive and wasteful. With the invention of the semisolid thick electrode, 24M eliminates more than 80% of these inactive materials and increases the active layer thickness over traditional lithium-ion by up to 5x. Using thick electrodes, the cell also stores more energy, bettering the performance of the battery as well as its cost.

How is 24M “re-inventing” the lithium-ion manufacturing process?
24M has reinvented battery manufacturing by making the process simpler, faster, more cost-effective and space-efficient. From start to finish, 24M’s cell production process takes about one fifth of the time of a conventional battery and because semisolid lithium-ion doesn’t require binder, drying, solvent recovery, or calendaring, manufacturers can dramatically reduce their manufacturing costs by eliminating the need for entire plants that house conventional operations. Additionally, the flexible and modular nature of 24M’s manufacturing process means that manufacturers are able to scale in small steps to match supply to demand, making lithium-ion cost effective even with low-volume output.

What type of cost savings will 24M battery cells provide?
24M’s semisolid lithium-ion batteries, when fully implemented, will cut today’s costs of lithium-ion batteries by 50%. By 2020, our battery costs will be less than $100/kWh.


How does a 24M battery cell achieve this cost savings?
Conventional lithium-ion batteries require a large percentage of inactive, non-charge carrying materials. We achieve cost savings by eliminating more than 80% of these "inactives" driving inherent lower cost while preserving the benefits of the world's preferred chemistry, lithium-ion. Our process also reduces manufacturing costs by more than 50%.

How is the 24M battery more flexible than a conventional lithium-ion battery?
Flexibility pertains to both our cell design and our manufacturing processes. Our innovations in both mean that the 24M approach is not tied to a single battery chemistry, as new chemistries become available they can easily be accommodated. Moreover, the cell has design properties never before seen in lithium-ion batteries – specifically the ability to bend and fold. On the manufacturing side, our modular approach means lithium-ion batteries are easier to make – we can realize low costs at small scale allowing manufacturing plants to be placed near centers of demand or easily adapted to custom designs.

How is 24M battery safer than a conventional lithium-ion battery?
24M passes all the standard UN and UL lithium-ion cell tests with flying colors. They will not go into thermal runaway and have unprecedented ability to withstand inadvertent mechanical abuse (bending or folding in the instance of a crash, for example) without failure.

Why is a 24M battery cell more environmentally friendly than a traditional battery?
The 24M battery manufacturing process is greener than the production process of a conventional lithium-ion battery because 24M’s semisolid electrodes require no drying or organic solvents and provide minimal process waste.

How will 24M batteries be used?
We see three immediate applications for 24M battery cells: grid, automotive class energy storage and custom designed applications.

Who are 24M’s customers?
24M provides its revolutionary lithium-ion cells - the essential building block - to integrators building complete energy storage solutions.

Who is on 24M’s leadership team?
24M was founded in 2010 by two MIT professors – Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang and Dr. W. Craig Carter – and Throop Wilder, an entrepreneur from the field of Internet communications and networking. The company is led by some of the battery industry’s foremost inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs.

How is 24M funded?
24M has raised $50 million in private capital (Series A and B rounds) from venture firms Charles River Partners and North Bridge. They are joined by three strategic partners as major investors in the company. The company was also awarded a $4.5 million grant from U.S. Department of Energy.

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