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Is metal battery technology the next game changer? Bill Gates has put some of his money behind the concept supporting a Massachusetts company to commercialise and grow its long duration energy storage systems.

Ambri has obtained $196M in funding from its largest shareholder, Bill Gates with Reliance Industries Limited from India and various other institutions including a Japanese Energy Fund.

Currently Ambri’s batteries have capacities of between 400kWh and 1,000kWh. 250kW batteries can provide storage from 4 to 24 hours.

Liquid metal batteries are constructed of a liquid calcium alloy anode, a molten salt electrolyte, and a cathode comprised of solid particles of antimony. The material used in the construction are relatively low cost and easy to assemble keeping the overall price down.

Ambri claim calcium and antimony electrodes are less than one third the cost of lithium, nickel, manganese, and cobalt currently used in lithium-ion batteries.

The new battery technology is also likely to last 20 years with very little performance degradation over time.

Batteries are likely to cost up to 50% less than equivalent lithium-ion systems from 2022 to 2030.

The longer-term plan for Ambri is to construct high volume manufacturing facilities in the United States and globally while in the short-term Reliance New Energy Solar will develop and manufacture the batteries in India.