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Battery materials  technology specialist Nano One [TSXV:NNO / FRA:LBMB] has entered into a cathode evaluation and benchmark agreement with an as yet unnamed US-based auto manufacturer to jointly evaluate Nano One’s cathode materials for automotive lithium ion batteries. Financial terms for the project are being kept confidential.

The goal of this project is to evaluate the performance and commercial benefit of Nano One’s patented One-Pot process for nickel rich and cobalt free cathode materials in electric vehicle applications.While we don’t have any further clues as to the identity of the partner firm, Nano One CEO Dan Blondal did say the firm was “a major global EV leader.” He also confirmed that this relationship was a long term commercial arrangement.

Hamutal Ben Bassat, VP of Business Development for Nano One, said:

“This agreement formalises efforts that began earlier this year and aligns Nano One with its second major automotive company. These are formative steps in developing a long term relationship. We are confident that given economic viability it will lead to commercial opportunities and strategies to integrate Nano One’s technologies into the electric vehicle value chain.”

This is big news for Nano One’s prospects in EV processes

While details are being kept circumspect, this certainly looks like major progress for the company Nano One’s technology is going to be very attractive for EV manufacturers or those considering entry into the market, as they seek to keep the sourcing of materials and the manufacturing of batttery materials as environmentally tight as possible.

Criteria emerging from within the European Union, for example, are pointing to very demanding rules surrounding the supply chains for vehicles, which are going to raise the bar way above where it is right now.

Nano One’s One-Pot process forms durable single crystal cathode powders and protective coatings simultaneously, directly from sulfate-free metal salts and lithium carbonate. It is an environmentally inspired process using limited water and produces no waste stream.

The process eliminates intermediate products, additional coating steps and the costly requirements for metal-sulfates and lithium hydroxide feedstocks. This aligns Nano One with the sustainability and cost objectives of automotive companies, investment communities and governmental infrastructure initiatives.

“We are well positioned with many strategic opportunities and we have the momentum, core competency and working capital to execute on our business plans,” Blondal said.

We are left to speculate as to the identity of this new partner. We continue to see Nano One as a highly interesting player in the battery materials technology space, with enormous potential in the EV space. As EV companmies start to scale up their manufacturing activities, they are going to continue to run into the expense, efficiency and ESG considerations that swirl around battery manufacturing, from digging cobalt out of the ground to eventual battery assembly.

The Armchair Trader started covering Nano One in December 2019; since then its share price has risen almost 200% (up 192% at the end of November 2020). Shares in the company were already picking up speed at the time of writing, up 12% at CAD 4.1.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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