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Innovation Norway grants Morrow Batteries 25 million NOK to develop cobalt-free batteries

The board of Innovation Norway has awarded Morrow Batteries a NOK 25 million grant from the environmental technology scheme. Morrow Batteries aims to manufacture sustainable and cost-effective cobalt free batteries based on the LNMO technology.

Picture: Terje Andersen, CEO of Morrow batteries, at the location for Morrow's planned Giga factory.

Innovation Norway, which is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development for Norwegian enterprises and industry, see great potential in a Norwegian battery industry and new export revenues.

“Batteries can become a new large industry in Norway", says CEO of Innovation Norway, Håkon Haugli. “The grant to Morrow Batteries' development of batteries for electric cars without the use of cobalt is an important part of our investment in new, sustainable industry in Norway”.

Later this year, Morrow will start building Morrow Innovation Center in Grimstad and a pilot factory in Arendal. In addition, the company plans to build its giga factory in Arendal, where from 2026 it will manufacture batteries for around 700 000 EVs annually.

“Our vision is to manufacture the most cost-effective and sustainable batteries in the world. With the support from Innovation Norway, we are able to continue the development of high-manganese, cobalt-free batteries towards pilot scale production. That will be an important industrial breakthrough. Cheaper and sustainable batteries will make a positive contribution to the green shift, so this is an innovation at an international level”, says Terje Andersen, CEO of Morrow Batteries.

Reducing the material cost with 50 percent In partnership with the Danish, world-leading chemical company Haldor Topsøe, Morrow is already in the process of developing next generation batteries. And with the grant from Innovation Norway, Morrow aim for pilot production of cobalt-free battery cells already in 2023.

Cobalt-free batteries are based on LNMO technology, where manganese replaces cobalt in the cathode part of the battery. This will reduce the cathode material cost with 50 percent, which today is the most expensive part of the battery. LNMO stands for lithium-nickel-manganise oxide, and can provide batteries with as high energy density as those we know today, but without cobalt. Manganese is found in large quantities in several places in the world, including Norway, and is cheaper and less problematic to extract than cobalt. Electric car manufacturers such as Tesla and VW believe that batteries with this type of technology will be very important in the near future.

“High Manganese LNMO chemistry will be the key to unlocking volume mobility markets in the coming years. It will greatly reduce the industry dependence on Nickel and completely eliminate cobalt from the battery value chain. Morrows ambition is to be the industry pioneer in high voltage LNMO battery technology. We are working towards developing system level samples and will produce final format prismatic test cells for automotive qualification in our pilot cell factory in 2023”, says Dr. Rahul Fotedar, CTO of Morrow Batteries.

About Innovation Norway’s Environmental technology scheme

Through the scheme, Innovation Norway provides grants for the development, pilot and demonstration of new environmental technology. This applies to innovative products or processes that solve an environmental problem. There are large costs associated with testing technology on a full scale, and the possibility of a return on environmental technology projects is associated with risk. Through this scheme, the public sector takes part of the risk of developing, building and testing environmental technology.

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