ONE (Our Next Energy) is a Michigan-based energy storage company that focuses on battery technologies to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicle (EV) and expand energy storage solutions. Its battery technology can enable driving range over 600 miles on a single charge. The company has raised $390M funding to provide battery products for EVs.
Challenges: electric vehicle range anxiety
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming an increasingly viable option for drivers who are looking for a more sustainable and innovative way to get around. One concern that some drivers have about EVs is range anxiety – the fear of running out of battery power and being stranded without a way to charge the vehicle.
With advances in battery technology and the expansion of public charging infrastructure, range anxiety is becoming less of an issue. In addition, many newer EV models have driving ranges of 200 miles or more, which is more than enough for most daily driving needs. The table below lists EVs with a high battery capacities and their estimated driving ranges based on the EPA’s testing cycle:
|Vehicle Model||Battery Capacity (kWh)||Driving Range (miles)|
|Tesla Model S Long Range||100||373|
|Tesla Model S Plaid||120||348|
|Tesla Model X Long Range||100||371|
|Tesla Model X Plaid||120||302|
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range||75||358|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||82||315|
|Tesla Model Y Long Range||75||326|
|Tesla Model Y Performance||82||303|
|Audi e-tron GT||93||238|
|Porsche Taycan 4S||79.2||199|
|Porsche Taycan Turbo||93.4||212|
|Porsche Taycan Turbo S||93.4||201|
|Ford Mustang Mach-E GT||88||270|
|Lucid Air Dream Edition||113||520|
However, range anxiety is a real concern for some EV owners who need to travel long distances on one charge.
ONE Gemini Battery Technology
ONE develops EV power supply systems with scalable energy capacity that allow for a driving range over 600 miles on one complete charge. The power supply system comprises a traction battery whose cells use low-cost LFP electrodes and have a low energy density but long life cycles, and a hybrid range extender battery whose cells are anode-free and have a higher energy density but short life cycles. The traction battery powers EVs, while the hybrid range extender battery can either charge the traction battery or power EVs, depending on driving range requirements.
Driving habit of users and battery chemistry
ONE has developed its unique power supply system based on the driving habits of EV users.
Typically, EV users fall into one of three categories based on their daily driving distance:
- Short-distance drivers
These are drivers who typically drive less than 50 miles per day. This group accounts for a significant percentage of EV users, as many EVs have a range of at least 100 miles on a single charge. Short-distance drivers often charge their vehicles overnight at home and rarely need to use public charging stations.
- Medium-distance drivers
These are drivers who typically drive between 50 and 100 miles per day. This group also accounts for a large percentage of EV users, but they may need to use public charging stations occasionally to top up their battery during the day. Medium-distance drivers may also charge their vehicles at home overnight.
- Long-distance drivers
These are drivers who typically drive more than 100 miles per day. This group is less common among EV users, but they may use public charging stations more frequently or plan their routes around charging stations to ensure they have enough range to reach their destination. Long-distance drivers may also choose to invest in a home charging station to reduce their reliance on public charging stations.
The table below lists the percentage of driving days corresponding to a daily driving distance range for EVs.
|Daily Driving Distance||Percentage of Driving Days|
The driving distance range for EVs mainly depends on the energy density of lithium-ion battery cells. There are varying types of cells and they have a different cell energy density and a life cycle, as listed in the table below.
|Lithium-Ion Battery Type||Cell Energy Density (Wh/L)||Cycle Life (Number of Cycles)|
In general, a cell with a high energy density, such as anode free cell, has a short life cycle, whereas a cell with low energy density, such as lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell, has a long cycle life. Conventional battery power systems have often presumed that a longer cycle life is necessary, even if it comes at the expense of higher energy density.
ONE has developed unique power supply systems that combine a traction battery and hybrid range extender battery based on the driving habits of EV users. The traction battery uses LFP electrode material and has a low energy density but a long life cycle. The hybrid extender battery is anode free and has a higher energy density but a shorter life cycle.
Because a significant percentage of driving days involve relatively short distances, the traction battery can accommodate the daily short distance range. The traction battery can be charged frequently. In contrast, the hybrid range extender battery is used for a much shorter amount of time to meet a long driving range requirement. Thereby, the hybrid range extender battery is rarely recharged and provides a good trade-off between energy density and cycle life.
ONE Gemini battery system for EV
The diagram below depicts ONE’s Gemini battery system for EVs.
The power supply system comprises a traction battery and a hybrid range extender battery. Between the traction battery and the hybrid range extender battery is a partition. The traction battery powers an EV. The hybrid range extender battery provides power either to charge the traction battery or to power the EV. Thus, the hybrid range extender battery provides the EV with its varying power requirements when needed.
The power supply system also includes processors, battery management system (MBS), relays, computer system, and drive unit.
- Traction battery
The traction battery comprises multiple modules connected in series to the high voltage DC bus of EV. The traction battery has an output voltage range of 300 V to 400 V and supplies current as high as 300 A.
Each module consists of multiple series-connected cells. Each cell uses LFP electrode material and has a low energy density between 300 and 500 Wh/L but a long life cycle between 2,000 and 3,200 cycles.
- Hybrid range extender battery
The hybrid range extender battery consists of multiple hybrid modules connected in parallel with each other and also in parallel with the traction battery to the high voltage DC bus to which the traction battery is also connected. This enables each hybrid module to manage their contribution to the charging of the traction battery and/or powering of the vehicle.
Each hybrid module contains multiple cells in series connection. Each cell is anode-free and uses cobalt-free manganese-rich cathode. Each cell has a high energy density between 800 and 1,400 Wh/L, but a low life cycle between 100 and 500 cycles.
On each high energy density hybrid module, there is an operatively coupled hybrid module controller to measure the state of its individual cells, including the voltage, current, temperature, SOC (State of Charge), and SOH (State of Health). The controller also regulates the contribution of its high energy density hybrid module to the high voltage DC bus to meet the power requirement of the traction battery and/or EVs. Thus, the power supply system can be operated in a more efficient and power-saving mode.
Each cell of the high energy density hybrid module has a bleeder resistor and sensors.
Each cell’s rate of charging or discharging is governed by the bleeder resistor connected in parallel with it. For example, turning on the bleeder resistor for a cell discharges the electric charge stored in the cell. Sensors measure voltages and determine how long the bleeder resistor should remain activated to achieve a balanced state across all cells in the series string of cells.
- Computer system
During a journey, the on-board computer system can estimate the electrical power requirements to navigate to a destination and determine if the vehicle can safely reach the destination using the stored energy available to operate. If the computer system determines that the vehicle cannot reach the predetermined destination, the traction battery may be charged using the hybrid range extender battery to provide enough power for the journey.
- Battery management system (BMS)
Battery power systems in EVs are typically traction batteries made of hundreds of tightly packed cells. These traction battery systems deliver 300 V to 400 V and 200 – 300 A. Any mismanagement could result in catastrophic consequences. Therefore, battery management systems (BMSs) are essential in EVs for the safe operation of high-voltage batteries.
BMS can monitor the state of the batteries and prevent overcharging and discharging, which can shorten the battery’s lifespan, reduce its capacity, and even cause explosions. For example, a BMS checks the voltage, and when the required voltage is reached, it stops the charging process. When BMS detects irregular power flow patterns, it can shut down the battery and send out an alarm.
BMS can relay the information about the battery’s condition to energy and power management systems. In addition, they can regulate the temperatures of the battery cells as well as the battery’s health, making it safe and reliable under all conditions.
Conventional BMSs are incapable of accurately measuring the individual characteristics of each cell in a battery pack. Conventional solutions attempt to obtain estimates but have no way of controlling a cell’s current to measure corresponding characteristic parameters, such as the cell’s voltage.
In ONE’s power supply system, the BMS uses an on-board computer system to control the relays and report operational limits. It may also request power from high energy density hybrid modules to meet the needs of the vehicle. In case a traction battery malfunctions, the high energy density hybrid modules can act as a temporary replacement for the traction battery by supplying power directly to the drive unit.
Processors enable the performance of processes or operations.
Relays are controlled to operatively couple a drive unit of the vehicle to power from the power supply system.
- Drive unit
The drive unit refers to devices outside the power supply system such as a propulsion motor, inverter, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system, etc.
ONE Gemini battery for over 600 miles
With dual-chemistry architecture in the battery package, ONE’s power supply systems enable EVs to travel over 600 miles on one charge. The diagram below shows an example of ONE’s power supply system with a capacity up to 204 kWh.
The traction battery has a capacity of 44 kWh and a voltage of 320 V. The hybrid range extender battery has a total capacity of 160 kWh, which comprises eight 20 kWh high energy density hybrid modules with 48 V each. The on-board energy management system has a battery management system (not shown).
Since each high energy density hybrid module is individually connected to a high voltage DC bus to which the traction battery is connected, the power supply system’s capacity is scalable to accommodate varying range requirements. By providing four additional high energy density hybrid modules, available capacity increases from 44 kWh to 124 kWh, and by providing another four additional high energy density hybrid modules, the available capacity increases to 204 kWh, allowing for a driving range over 600 miles.
- US20220115897A1 Supplying power to an electric vehicle
- US20230026549A1 Structural cell to pack battery
ONE has developed battery products Aries™ I, Aries™ II, and Gemini for EVs. The table below lists the primary technical specifications of varying products for EVs.
|Product||Capacity (kWh)||Range (miles)||Chemistry||Voltage (V)||Durability (cycles)||Applications|
|Aries™ I||79+||200+||LFP||348||3,000||Class 5 truck|
|Aries™ II||103||350+||LFP||422||2,000||cars and light trucks|
|Gemini™||185+||600+||LFP + anode-free||cars|
Aries I battery pack delivers 200 miles of range on a single charge. Using lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry and innovative design, Aries I offers procurement managers compact power that is safe, durable and scalable. It delivers 3,000 cycles and allows daily charging up to 100% without degrading. Aries I is made with abundant raw materials, so it is unlikely that global supply issues will impede production.
Aries II battery pack delivers 300 miles on a single charge. The battery is made with a safer and more sustainable all-LFP chemistry — no nickel and no cobalt. It features an innovative modular design that adds required side-impact resistance while simplifying maintenance. Aries II can be easily customized to fit within any passenger vehicle platform. With the highest energy density per cell of any LFP battery on the market — 441 watt-hours per liter — Aries II is ready to electrify SUVs, sedans and light trucks today with a 100-kWh battery and the flexibility to power any passenger vehicle platform.
Gemini battery pack can deliver over 600 miles on a single charge. Gemini’s dual-chemistry architecture contains two cells using two different battery chemistries — each doing what they do best. Gemini is a complete platform designed to double the range of electric vehicles without compromising safety. It uses two cells: a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cell for daily driving and an anode-free cell for longer trips. A DC-DC converter moves energy from between them seamlessly while our patented skip-cell architecture sharply reduces the risk of thermal runaway.
ONE has also developed Aries™ Grid for storing renewable energy to power factories, data centers, and communities.
Aries™ Grid is nearly twice as durable as competing energy storage systems made with nickel-cobalt-manganese chemistry, and it is significantly less expensive. Aries™ Grid uses LFP chemistry based on abundant and safe iron. Aries™ Grid has 2, 3, and 6 MWh capacities. Its output DC voltage of 810, 1,044, and 1,167 V. Its round trip efficiency exceeds 88%, and its life cycle exceeds 5,500.
Our Next Energy is funded by 13 investors, including BMW i Ventures, Assembly Ventures, Coatue, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Flex, Volta Energy Technologies, Temasek Holdings, Fifth Wall, Riverstone Holdings, Sente Ventures, Franklin Templeton, TR.PE, and AI Capital. Fifth Wall and Temasek Holdings are the most recent investors.
Mujeeb Ijaz is Founder.
Mujeeb Ijaz is CEO.