Sunday, October 17, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
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BMW looks to invest in lithium tech startup Lilac Solutions to produce EV battery metal

BMW, which already buys lithium from China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co, said it sees Lilac’s technology as a way to boost global production as demand grows from the EV market

German luxury car manufacturer BMW has announced to invest in lithium technology startup Lilac Solutions Inc to support more efficient ways to produce the electric vehicle battery metal.

According to the announcement, privately-held Lilac is part of a growing number of technology developers seeking to extract lithium from saltwater brines faster, cheaper, and with less water than evaporation ponds, which have long been the industry standard.

BMW, which already buys lithium from China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co and other traditional lithium producers, said it sees Lilac’s technology as a way to boost global production of the white metal as demand grows from the market.

“This holds the promise of becoming a new extraction technology that allows access to more green lithium,” Kasper Sage of BMW I Ventures, BMW’s venture capital fund said.

The global automaker is also participating in Lilac’s Series B funding round alongside SK Materials Co, Sumitomo Corp investment arm Presidio Ventures, and others.

BMW declined to discuss its investment amount, though the total from all investors announced on Wednesday was less than $20 million, according to regulatory filings.

Meanwhile, Lilac plans to use the funds to construct a US manufacturing facility for ion exchange beads, which are core to its extraction process. The company last month agreed to use its technology to develop a lithium project in Argentina with Lake Resources NL.

“Lilac has focused on proving our technology is reliable and scalable. And that’s been resonating with members of the supply chain,” Dave Snydacker, Lilac’s chief executive said.

Lilac’s peers include privately held EnergySource Minerals LLC and Energy Exploration Technologies Inc, as well as Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd, Standard Lithium Ltd, and E3 Metals Corp.

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