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Honda Motor Signs Deal with Lithium-Metal Battery Maker

Japanese carmaker says SES planned to list on the New York Stock Exchange via Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corporation in a SPAC deal


The compact, fully-electric Honda e. Photo: Honda Motor.

 

Japanese carmaker Honda Motor said on Wednesday it had signed a joint development agreement for lithium-metal batteries with Boston-based electric vehicle (EV) battery company SES Holdings.

In a statement, Honda said SES planned to list on the New York Stock Exchange via Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The Japanese automotive giant planned to buy about 2% of the listed company, SES AI Corporation.

“We are pleased to reach this significant milestone in the transaction process, which will lead to SES becoming a public company upon approval by Ivanhoe shareholders,” SES founder and CEO Qichao Hu said.

Lithium-metal batteries are expected to achieve higher energy density than lithium-ion batteries, which are used in most battery-powered EVs.

SES said it has produced more than 15,000 multi-layer hybrid Li-metal cells on its own production lines, which are similar to those used for Li-ion cell manufacturing.

 

Honda Struggles with Output Reduction

Honda recently announced that its first mini-EV would be a commercial vehicle.

The Japanese company has been struggling lately due to output reductions caused by semiconductor shortages, analysts said.

“Cutbacks are putting heavier pressure on  earnings than envisaged,” Takaki Nakanishi, an equity analyst at Jefferies in Tokyo, said.

This year is likely to test the efficacy of Honda’s planned reforms, Nakanishi added. “It is also when Honda intends to further develop business structural reforms addressing decarbonisation.”

The analyst expected a “robust earnings recovery”, helped by a rebound in motorcycle sales in emerging markets, and more clarity about Honda’s EV and battery strategy.

 

  • George Russell, with Reuters

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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