Battery manufacturer Amprius Technologies aims to raise about $430 million by going public through a business combination with special purpose acquisition company Kensington Capital. The deal, announced on May 12 and expected to close in the second half of this year, will generate capital to advance Amprius’s ambitions in emerging electric mobility sectors, including aviation. Funds raised from the initial public offering will mainly be used to build battery manufacturing capability.
According to CEO Kang Sun, Amprius is pursuing possible future applications for its batteries on electric aircraft seating up to 20 passengers, and also on smaller eVTOL vehicles. It is already supplying equipment to several pseudo-satellite and uncrewed aircraft manufacturers involved in delivery, imaging, and military applications, including Aerovironment, Kraus-Hamdani, and Teledyne-FLIR.
Amprius has previously provided batteries for the Zephyr solar-powered, high-altitude surveillance platform developed by Airbus, which has previously invested in the company. It also supplies cells to the U.S. Army and is targeting the automotive industry as well.
The company says it has demonstrated 500 WH/kg cells with a current rating of 10C and aims to have these available for commercial use in early 2023. Testing by independent laboratories has validated an 0 to 80 percent state of charge in six minutes.
In February, the company delivered the first examples of its latest 450-Wh/kg, 1150-Wh/L high-energy-density lithium-ion cells. Compared with commonly available 300-Wh/kg batteries, the new cells, which use the U.S. company’s Si-Nanowire anode technology, represent a further improvement on the 405-Wh/kg product unveiled as recently as last November.
Recent initial public offerings in the advanced air mobility sector have generally underperformed in terms of the amounts of capital raised. In the cases of eVTOL aircraft developers like Eve and Vertical Aerospace, that has been because of the high volume of share redemptions by investors in their special purpose acquisition companies.
This story was updated on May 16, with additional information about existing aviation applications and new higher-density batteries.