Ascend Elements, a battery recycling and engineering materials company located in Westborough, Massachusetts, has raised $300 million in equity and equity investments, including a $200 million Series C equity investment from an international group of strategic and financial investors. It said it had secured debt financing.
The funding round was led by Fifth Wall Climate, with participation from SK Ecoplant, the environmental arm of South Korean conglomerate SK Group. Other new investors include Oman Investment Authority, Lithium Americas Corporation, GLy Capital Management’s New Mobility Fund, Mirae Asset Capital & LS and Shinhan GIB. Investors from previous funding rounds including Hitachi Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures, TDK Ventures, Orbia Ventures, At One Ventures, Trumpf Ventures and Doral Energy-Tech Ventures also participated in the latest round.
This funding is in addition to two US Department of Energy grants recently awarded to Ascend totaling $480 million. Together, the company said the funds will be used to accelerate the commercialization of its proprietary Hydro-to-Cathode direct precursor synthesis process, which will establish a closed-loop electric vehicle (EV) battery materials supply chain in North America. said.
The announcement follows Ascend’s recent plans to invest up to $1 billion to build a first-of-its-kind sustainable lithium-ion battery (LIB) materials facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Ascend says the facility, called Apex 1, will produce enough of his LIB cathode active material precursors (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM) to equip up to 250,000 EVs per year.
“Our investment partners understand the urgent need to produce sustainable lithium-ion battery materials,” said Ascend CEO Mike O’Kronley. “Simply recycling lithium-ion batteries and recovering metals for global commodity markets is not enough. Our patented closed-loop process goes beyond simple battery recycling. We are producing sustainable, high-performance cathode active materials that can be used directly in
Ascend is currently profitably processing end-of-life batteries and manufacturing scrap at its Base 1 facility in Covington, Georgia, and will have 30,000 tonnes of EV battery recycling capacity by the end of this year, and an eventual Apex 1 facility.
The company says it plans to recycle more than 150,000 tonnes of LIB annually worldwide by 2026.
Peter Gaidos, partner at Fifth Wall and co-leader of the climate investment team, said: “We are proud that Ascend Elements manufactures sustainable batteries for both automotive and stationary storage.”