Sustainable Battery Materials Provider Ascend Elements Raises $162 Million to Build new US Plant

Closed-loop battery materials solutions provider Ascend Elements announced today that it has raised $162 million in new equity investments, with proceeds aimed at supporting the building of a new 1-million square foot sustainable lithium-ion plant in Kentucky.

Founded in 2015, Westborough, Massachusetts-based Ascend Elements provides closed-loop battery materials solutions, ranging from EV battery recycling to commercial-scale production of lithium-ion battery precursor (pCAM) and cathode active materials (CAM). The company produces new cathode materials from spent lithium-ion cells, utilizing a proprietary technology that is more efficient than current methods, enabling lower costs, improved performance, and reduced emissions.

According to Ascend Elements, the new Hopkinsville, Kentucky-based project, Apex 1, anticipated to open in early 2025, will be North America’s first sustainable pCAM manufacturing facility, producing sustainable pCAM and CAM for up to 750,000 electric vehicles per year. The project is supported in part by U.S. Department of Energy and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Ascend Elements CEO Mike O’Kronley said:

“I’d like to thank our new and existing partners for investing in North America’s critical EV battery infrastructure. This diverse group of leading climate investors and industry partners underscores the confidence that the market has placed in our business. By recycling lithium-ion batteries and making new, engineered battery materials with lower carbon emissions, Ascend Elements is accelerating the global transition to zero carbon emissions.”

Major investors in the new funding round include Just Climate, Clearvision Ventures, and IRONGREY. The new equity financing brings the company’s 12-month funding total to $704 million, following a $542 million funding round led by Decarbonization Partners, Temasek and Qatar Investment Authority in September 2023.

Aruna Ramsamy, a Managing Director at Just Climate said:

 “We are backing a technology that transforms spent lithium-ion batteries into critical materials used in the creation of new batteries. With its first pCAM facility in construction in the United States, Ascend Elements has the potential to unlock the supply of critical battery materials to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles. Ascend Elements’ Hydro-to-Cathode technology provides a sustainable option for production of critical battery materials, championing circularity in an industry that is poised to scale significantly. We’re looking forward to supporting Ascend Elements in its growth journey.”