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Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that, in December 2021, the company signed a joint development agreement in the area of Lithium-Metal secondary batteries*1 with SES Holdings Pte. Ltd.(“SES”), a U.S. (Boston)-based EV battery research and development company.
Moreover, SES plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transaction, and through the PIPE (private investment in public equity) offering by the SPAC, Honda plans to acquire approximately 2% of the shares of SES AI Corporation, the company to be listed on NYSE*2 *3.
The battery is a crucial component of battery electric vehicles (EV) and Honda, which is accelerating electrification of its products on a global basis, has been concurrently looking into several options for next-generation batteries, including the all-solid-state batteries Honda is developing independently. This joint development agreement with SES is part of the overall battery strategy of Honda.
From here onward, Honda and SES will pursue joint research for the realization of safe, high-durability and high-capacity next-generation EV batteries.
- *1 Batteries with Lithium-Metal anode, which are expected to realize higher energy density than Lithium-ion batteries (which usually use carbon-based materials for the anode).
- *2 On October 22, 2021, Honda signed a PIPE subscription agreement with Ivanhoe Capital Acquisition Corp. (“Ivanhoe”), a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on the NYSE, pursuant to which Honda is scheduled to acquire shares of Ivanhoe on the day of the merger between SES and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ivanhoe, with SES the surviving entity (“the merger”), prior to the completion of the merger. Ivanhoe, which will wholly own SES, plans to change its name to SES AI Corporation prior to the completion of the merger. Fulfillment of all prerequisites for the execution of the merger, including approval of SES and Ivanhoe shareholders, is a prerequisite for the stock purchase by Honda.
- *3 The shareholding percentage above is based on the assumption that the shareholders of Ivanhoe will not exercise their redemption rights.
■Comments by Shinji Aoyama, Managing Executive Officer in Charge of Electrification, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.:
“The battery is an essential component of EVs, and Honda has been concurrently looking into several options toward the realization of high-capacity, safe and low-cost next-generation batteries. Recognizing the advanced technologies of SES, Honda signed a joint development agreement with SES with the aim to establish a good relationship with SES and expeditiously generate substantial achievements through our joint research activities. Honda will continue to establish collaborative relationships with companies which have advanced technologies, as needed, to offer highly-competitive and attractive EVs to our customers.”