Corporate Overview

SES's mission is to break limits and enable a new era of electric transportation on land and in air.

SES is a world leader in next generation Li-Metal batteries. Its Li-Metal batteries combine the high energy density of Li-Metal with the cost-effective, large-scale manufacturing of conventional Li-ion batteries.

SES is an American hardware and software company with a global presence and has operations in Boston, Shanghai, Seoul, and Singapore. SES takes a systems approach to develop and commercialize Li-Metal batteries, and it has three main development tracks:

Hermes - Platform for new material development
Apollo - Engineering capability for large automotive cells
Avatar - AI-powered safety software to monitor battery health

Hermes cells consists of 25+ layers of cathode and anode (total 50+ layers). It is used to develop, test, and qualify novel electrolytes (high concentration solvent-in-salt), anode protective coatings, separators, cathodes (both high nickel for premium vehicles and nickel/cobalt free for value vehicles) and other materials. Hermes cells go through extensive performance, energy density and safety tests by automakers and 3rd parties (test reports are available here).

Apollo cells are larger versions of Hermes. SES’ recently announced 100+ Ah Li-Metal cell is built on the Apollo platform. It is the world’s first 100+ Ah and largest Li-Metal cell, with a deep heritage coming from the Hermes platform plus new technologies developed specifically for the automotive industry including a wide-width thin lithium foil and an extended temperature range operation.

Avatar is a “digital twin” equivalent of physical Li-Metal cells, that integrates comprehensive manufacturing data and real-world battery state-of-health data to predict performance and cell longevity under a variety of conditions.

SES’ system approach is designed to deliver

  • A step change in energy density up to 400 Wh/kg and/or 1000 Wh/L (actual measurement, not simulated numbers), significantly increasing the range of EVs and eVTOLs
  • A fast-charge capability from 10% State-of-Charge to 80% in under 15 minutes
  • Precise cell performance and health monitoring and incident prediction and prevention
  • Lower total cost since Li-Metal paired with lower cost cathode (nickel/cobalt free) can achieve similar energy density as Li-ion paired with higher cost cathode (high nickel)
  • Rapid and practical commercialization roadmap since the manufacturing process of Li-Metal is similar to Li-ion. This is evidenced by 5 global automakers that are backing SES including General Motors, Hyundai Motors, Honda Motors, Geely, and Shanghai Auto.

The SES Story

Qichao Hu was pursuing his PhD at Harvard in 2007 but was fired twice for failure to publish and eventually dropped out. Following Harvard, Qichao went on to MIT in 2008, and was part of the wave of students that took part in renewable energy technology research. Qichao joined the renowned professor Donald Sadoway’s lab to work on novel battery technologies from 2008 to 2012.

In 2012, Qichao founded SES as an MIT spinout despite the situation that no one wanted to invest in the American electric vehicle battery industry. Around that time, another MIT battery spinout, A123 (America’s best hope at competing with the Asian battery makers), had just gone bankrupt and was later acquired by Wanxiang Group Corporation.

Today, the global EV battery industry has reached a tipping point and is growing rapidly. SES is a world leader in next generation Li-Metal battery, and the only Li-Metal company to have multiple A-sample development programs with automakers, including General Motors, Hyundai Motors and Honda Motors. In addition, SES is backed by investors including SK, Temasek, Geely, Shanghai Auto, Vertex, Koch, LG, Tianqi Lithium, Applied Materials, and others.

SES believes that the world doesn’t need another battery company or another battery breakthrough, but it needs someone that can take a battery breakthrough and make it truly, practically, and completely work. That’s what SES is signing up to do – to make Li-Metal work,. scale it up to hundreds of thousands of vehicles and compete with the gold standard Li-ion. SES believes it has the DNA, the capability and talent to make it work, and to power the future of EVs and eVTOLs.

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