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Last month, Factorial Energy announced that two giants of the automotive world, Stellantis and Mercedes-Benz, had become investors.

Factorial, a Massachusetts-based battery manufacturer, said that the new investment will help the company to commercialise its core battery technology.

That tech, known as Factorial Electrolyte System Technology (or FEST) allows cars to travel 20-50% further on a single charge, whilst also improving safety and remaining cost-competitive with traditional lithium-ion cells.

We spoke to Factorial CEO Siyu Huang to find out more about the fast-growing company.

Can you explain how the FEST battery technology works?

FEST replaces the flammable electrolyte found in conventional li-ion architectures with a novel safe solid electrolyte material, which supports advanced cathode and anode materials that drive cell performance.

Why do your batteries perform better than lithium-ion cells?

Factorial’s FEST provides a highly flexible system for adapting to high energy density cell architectures, which solves the EV range issue. It supports high-capacity cathode (e.g. 811/NDA) and anode materials (lithium metal) without critical performance or safety compromises, which yields practical long-range EV cells.

You have mentioned that your cells are safer than lithium-ion packs – why?

Conventional liquid electrolyte has a flashing point of between 60-70°C, while FEST is not flammable until over 200°C.

The company is based in Massachusetts – what advantages does this give the business?

Our headquarters is located in the heart of Massachusetts’ education and innovation hub, with world-renowned universities, labs, business incubators and venture capitalists all within a short drive. But we are building a global company, and with strategic partners literally all over the world, we are expanding our footprint to multiple countries to better serve those partnerships.

How did the collaboration between Factorial and Mercedes, Stellantis, and Hyundai/Kia come around and what will the new investment and partnerships bring to Factorial?

We have been working with all three partners for some time now, testing our core technology. These partnerships and investments collectively will allow us to accelerate our time to market as well as give us very broad access to the mass market.

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