Xiamen-based battery manufacturer Hithium is amassing funding and expanding production capacities at a fast pace. In a Series C funding round announced this week, the Chinese unicorn (an unlisted company valued at or above $1 billion) said that it has raised more than CNY 4.5 billion.
The company will primarily use the funds to expand production capacity, procure advanced equipment, conduct tech R&D, and further develop market opportunities.
The round was co-led by investors China Life Private Equity Investment and BFS Capital, along with BOC Financial Asset Investment, Goldstone Investment, CS Capital, China Venture Capital Fund (CVC), CICC Capital, CDH Investments, and China-US Green Fund.
Additional investors include CDI New Energy Investment (Shenzhen), Hefei Innovation Scitech Venture Capital, as well as existing shareholders Hainan Fenghe Private Equity Management, Matrix, ABC International, and ZBGT.
Established only four years ago, the company is expanding from 15 GWh to 70 GWh by the year’s end, and up to 135 GWh by 2025. It has attracted a long list of investors, which is not publicly available.
“More than 50% of them are institutional investors and the rest is coming from strategic investors, such as downstream application and mining companies,” Hithium VP for Sales and Marketing Mizhi Zhang told pv magazine at Intersolar 2023.
He said Hithium, which does not make EV batteries and solely specializes in stationary energy storage systems, has attracted funding by virtue of its innovative technology. Its lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes are designed to slowly release lithium ions, resulting in lower cell degradation.
“Unlike other LFP cells, Hithium’s 300 Ah battery cell displays less than 2% of degradation in the first 1000 cycles,” Zhang said.
This can in turn expand the battery lifespan to more than 12,000 cycles, and if operated properly that could translate into 20 to 25 years of service.
Outside of Xiamen, Hithium has more locations for production, research, and sales in Shenzhen, Chongqing, Munich, and California. Manufacturing in Europe is also in the cards, Zhang told pv magazine.
Reuters reported that Hithium has also approached officials and industry managers in Vietnam to potentially invest up to $900 million to build a plant on more than 30 hectares of industrial land.
The company has shipped 9 GWh of battery capacity to date, with 5 GWh delivered in 2022 alone. It said it expects to deploy more gigawatts, in the single digits, globally this year.
More than 85% of its system are deployed in China, including in a 220 MW/440 MWh system in China's Ningxia region. It is reportedly the country’s largest standalone grid-connected battery energy storage system to date.
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