In what is shaping up to be a down year for initial public offerings in general and clean energy IPOs in particular, a couple of battery technology companies recently went against the grain by announcing plans to go public.
One of them, Arizona-based Atlis Motor Vehicles, unveiled its plans for an IPO in early May. In addition to its battery technology, the company is developing an electric truck that aims to match the towing and payload capabilities of diesel-powered vehicles, making it optimal for use in the agriculture, utility, and construction industries.
About a week later, California-based Amprius Technologies reached a deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to take the maker of silicon-anode batteries public. The deal valued Amprius at about $1.3 billion. The company claims its batteries are more powerful than conventional lithium-ion cells because they use energy-dense silicon rather than graphite in the battery’s anode.
The two announcements came amid a drought in the IPO market this year, following a record number of offerings in 2021. According to the Stock Analysis website, 2021 saw an all-time high of 1,035 IPOs, more than doubling the previous record set in 2020. In contrast, as of early June, there were less than 120 IPOs so far in 2022.
The dollar value of IPOs in the U.S. and Europe had fallen 90% year over year as of early June, the Financial Times reported, as the Ukraine war, struggling stock markets, and rising inflation and interest rates forced many companies to shelve plans to go public.
Meanwhile, a February 2022 report from S&P Global Market Intelligence noted that after a two-year surge in clean energy companies using SPACs to go public – especially those in the electric vehicle sector – interest in SPACs has waned this year as major investors are wary of higher interest rates and lower returns on investment.
Those worries aside, some companies still see an upside in going public this year. Reuters reported that certain big names in the technology and automotive sectors – including social media firm Reddit and Intel’s self-driving car unit Mobileye – are scheduled to go public in the coming months.
In the case of Atlis Motor Vehicles, going public this year will help it raise needed capital to expand operations and develop the technology. The company’s AMV Cube Cell battery technology is capable of charging from 0% to 100% in less than 15 minutes while providing “consistent performance in any environment.”
Atlis is also developing the Atlis XT electric pickup truck, which aims to have a 500-mile range, 35,000-pound towing capacity, and 5,000-pound payload capacity. The company plans to list the Nasdaq over the summer under the ticker symbol “AMV.” IPO proceeds will go toward scaling up operations.
While Atlis goes the traditional IPO route, Amprius Technologies is following the lead of other clean energy companies by combining with a SPAC to go public. In its case, the SPAC is Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. IV.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amprius sells its batteries to customers such as Airbus SE and the U.S. Army, which use them to power electric, more stealthy aircraft and drones. The company also looks to expand the technology’s use in EVs.
Amprius competes against Enovix and other silicon-anode battery manufacturers in a market that aims to reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels by producing batteries that can store more energy and last longer between charges. The company claims a first-mover edge over many of its rivals because it has sold its products commercially since 2018. Its batteries are also strong enough to power electric aircraft, which sets them apart from many competing brands.
Amprius plans to raise $200 million in equity from investors as part of the Kensington deal. That money, combined with $230 million raised by Kensington in a separate deal in March, will be used to expand Amprius’ business.