The Korea Herald


Lotte, GM bet $11m in EV battery materials startup Soelect

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Feb. 3, 2022 - 20:01

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Soelect logo (Soelect) Soelect logo (Soelect)

A consortium led by Lotte Ventures, a startup investment unit of South Korea’s No. 5 conglomerate Lotte Group, injected $11 million into Soelect, a North Carolina-based firm that manufactures next-generation materials for electric vehicle batteries.

According to the Soelect Thursday, the consortium, comprised of Lotte Ventures, General Motors Ventures and KTB Network, will support the US startup to commercialize its EV battery technology.

The startup develops materials that go inside the minus sides of EV batteries. Graphite, a black material inside pencils, is typically put inside minus sides. The graphite enhances the stability of EV batteries.

Instead, Soelect makes minus sides with metallic lithium. This simple change of chemistry makes EV batteries lighter and more powerful. EV batteries mounted with Soelect’s lithium-metal minus sides can charge zero to 100 percent in 15 minutes, and maintain capacity over 80 percent after 400 cycles, the company claims.