BMW invests in lithium technology startup Lilac Solutions – Reuters

The logo of German car manufacturer BMW is seen on the company headquarters in Munich, Germany, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
Oct 6 (Reuters) – BMW (BMWG.DE) said on Wednesday it will invest in lithium technology startup Lilac Solutions Inc to support more-efficient ways to produce the electric vehicle battery metal.
Privately-held Lilac is part of a growing number of technology developers seeking to extract lithium from saltwater brines faster, cheaper and with less water than evaporation ponds, which have long been the industry standard.
BMW, which already buys lithium from China's Ganfeng Lithium Co (002460.SZ) and other traditional lithium producers, said it sees Lilac's technology as a way to boost global production of the white metal as demand grows from the EV market.
"This holds the promise of becoming a new extraction technology that allows access to more green lithium," said Kasper Sage of BMW i Ventures, BMW's venture capital fund.
The German automaker is participating in Lilac's Series B funding round alongside SK Materials Co (036490.KQ), Sumitomo Corp (8053.T) investment arm Presidio Ventures and others.
BMW declined to discuss its investment amount, though the total from all investors announced on Wednesday was less than $20 million, according to regulatory filings. T. Rowe Price and others were part of an initial $130 million funding round for Lilac's Series B announced last month.
Lilac plans to use the funds to construct a U.S. manufacturing facility for ion exchange beads, which are core to its extraction process.
The company last month agreed to use its technology to develop a lithium project in Argentina with Lake Resources NL (LKE.AX).
"Lilac has focused on proving our technology is reliable and scalable. And that's been resonating with members of the supply chain," said Dave Snydacker, Lilac's chief executive.
Lilac's peers include privately held EnergySource Minerals LLC and Energy Exploration Technologies Inc, as well as Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd (VUL.AX), Standard Lithium Ltd and E3 Metals Corp (ETMC.V).
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
The first cars to emerge from Tesla's new Berlin factory should roll off the production line as early as next month, CEO Elon Musk said at the site of the plant on Saturday, but added that volume production would take much longer to achieve.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets – delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved

source