Swedish battery maker Northvolt buys U.S. startup Cuberg

FILE PHOTO: Northvolt logo is pictured in the Northvolt office in Stockholm, Sweden June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Esha Vaish

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt said on Wednesday it had bought U.S. startup Cuberg to get access to technology that would boost the range of electric vehicles that can use its batteries.

Cuberg, spun out of Stanford University in 2015, has created battery cells that deliver increased range and capacity by 60% versus comparable lithium-ion cells and counts aircraft maker Boeing among its customers.

The deal would help Northvolt improve both performance and safety while driving down cost for next-generation battery cells, the company said in a statement.

“This is critical for accelerating the shift to fully electric vehicles and responding to the needs of the leading automotive companies within a relevant time frame,” Northvolt CEO Peter Carlsson said.

Battery manufacturers across the world are scrambling to keep up with demand as carmakers increasingly go electric.

Northvolt, which aims to take on major Asian players such as CATL and LG Chem and targets a 25% market share in Europe by 2030, will establish a technology center in Silicon Valley based on the Cuberg acquisition and is hiring top battery industry talent.

It has raised more than $3.6 billion in debt and equity in total since it was founded in 2016 by former Tesla executive Carlsson. It last raised $600 million from the likes of Volkswagen, Baillie Gifford and Goldman Sachs.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Helena Soderpalm in Stockholm; editing by Niklas Pollard