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Skeleton signs strategic deal for Asian automotive market

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Skeleton Technologies in Germany has signed a strategic deal with Japanese conglomerate Marubeni to take its fast-charging Superbattery into the Asian electric vehicle market.

As part of this agreement, Marubeni has also made an equity investment on top of the €41.3m ($48.5m) Series D financing round announced by Skeleton in November 2020 that brough funding up to €87.7m.

The deal covers Asia but excludes the key growth markets of China and India. The Superbattery, developed with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology in Germany uses Skeleton’s curved graphene material and a custom electrolyte for a battery that charges in just 15 seconds and has hundreds of thousands of charging cycles.  

“Enabling carbon-neutral electrification is a key priority for Marubeni Corporation. Skeleton Technologies fits perfectly in our portfolio as they fill the gap for high-power, extremely long high-cycles, and efficient energy storage devices,” said Masayuki Omoto, COO of Next Generation Business Development Division of Marubeni, which owns 453 different companies ranging from textiles and agriculture to shipping, power generaion and aircraft.

“The company has validated its competitive advantage in real-life applications and has shown strong commercial traction. We are delighted to back Skeleton because we see that, besides their technological advantage, they are going after scale as evidenced by their participation in the €3bn European Battery Innovation project alongside companies such as Tesla and BMW,” said Omoto. 

The two companies also plan to cooperate on new applications for curved graphene, Skeleton’s patented material.

“Marubeni Corporation is a major conglomerate keen on advanced technology businesses and now becomes a key strategic partner for Skeleton Technologies,” said Taavi Madiberk, CEO and co-founder of Skeleton Technologies (above).

Next: Skeleton deal drives down costs


“Our cooperation will drive the Asian automotive market’s adoption of our technology in the near future as the cost down will be much faster than for lithium-ion batteries. Our main focus is on electrified vehicles and hydrogen transportation markets because our products allow them to function more efficiently and drive their costs down,” said Madiberk.

Skeleton Technologies has three main locations: its manufacturing in Großröhrsdorf, Saxony, Germany, materials development in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt and electrical engineering in Tallinn, Estonia.

www.skeletontech.com

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