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Saturday, July 13, 2024

NC trend: Battery recycler attracts $36M

Li Industries, a Charlotte-area company that is developing lithium-ion battery recycling technologies, raised $36 million from investors including units affiliated with Bosch,
LG and Chevron.

Li expects to raise as much as $42 million in the current funding round, which would bring its total private funding to more than $50 million since its founding in 2017. The company says the money will be used to construct a 10,000-ton recycling facility.

“Our investors bring invaluable resources, experience and commercial partnerships that are essential for us to successfully scale and commercialize,” CEO and co-founder Zheng Li said in a release.

The investors include Bosch Ventures, Khosla Ventures and LG Tech Ventures, Anglo American Decarbonization Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures. Previous investors have included Shell Ventures.

The company operates a 500-ton battery recycling site and a 1,000-ton battery sorting location, both in Mecklenburg County.

“They are the first and only company in the U.S. capable of economically and sustainably recycling low/no cobalt batteries,” said Ingo Ramesohl, managing director at Bosch Ventures.

Zheng Li has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chinese universities and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from State University of New York, Binghamton. Li Industries’ research is being guided in part by SUNY Professor Stanley Whittingham,
who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2019.

Li has been a professor at Virginia Tech University since 2016 after post-doctoral work
at MIT.

Li Industries’ co-founder is Nolan Schmidt, a former vice president at BAE Systems, a large defense contractor where he led a $1.3 billion division that produced electric-powered vehicles.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at croush@businessnc.com.

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