Battery startup Sion Power raises $75 million in funding round led by LG Energy Solution

By Akash Sriram

(Reuters) - Sion Power said on Wednesday the battery technology startup raised $75 million in an early-stage funding round led by South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution.

The company, which also received new investment from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's family office, Hillspire, intends to seek technical and market validation of its technology and plans to build a manufacturing line to make lithium-metal cells.

Its Licerion battery technology can deliver high energy density, or the ability to hold more power in a cell, and high amounts of power for the mass of the battery, Sion said.

Sion, which projects its battery technology will be on the road in 2027, did not provide a valuation at which it raised funds.

The company's announcement comes at a time when automakers are looking for EV battery formats and chemistries that bring production costs down and take drivers longer on a single charge, to boost adoption.

"Sion Powers's Licerion batteries can be used in a variety of EV applications including high-performance, compact, and economy vehicles. The battery system can be modified to address different performance profiles," CEO Tracy Kelley said.

Sion's backer, LG Energy Solution, has a supply agreement with Toyota and battery manufacturing joint ventures with Hyundai and Honda.

The Inflation Reduction Act, that was enacted in August 2022, has spurred a series of investments in battery startups and electric vehicle technology, with the aim of bringing supply chains to the United States.

General Motors in August invested in Silicon Valley battery technology startup, Mitra Chem, to help speed development of a more affordable battery chemistry.

Sion also said that among its new board members include former GM, Volvo and Volkswagen executive Stefan Jacoby, Stanford professor, Scott Brady and Robert McIntyre, Managing Director of LG Technology Ventures. (This story has been refiled to correct the spelling of LG Energy Solution in the headline and paragraphs 1, 7)

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)