UK startup raises £10m for fast charging niobium cells

August 26, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
UK startup raises £10m for fast charging niobium cells
Echion Technologies in Cambridge has raised £10m (€11.6m) for its niobium-based battery materials.

Echion provides mixed niobium oxide nanoparticle materials and battery cell manufacturers with packages of protected intellectual property, customisation options, materials synthesis and cell integration know-how and for different end-user markets including fast charging batteries with high energy density.

Echion's materials have been successfully evaluated by major battery cell and battery materials manufacturers around the world, who are now moving forward to larger scale trials. This financing will allow Echion to scale-up to multi-tonne level material production, demonstrating high-yield, cost effective manufacturability as well as to supply the growing demand for material for pre-production trials.€

The material allows battery cells that can charge safely to 100 percent in under 6 minutes and provides twice the volumetric capacity of LTO lithium ion anodes. The technology has demonstrated with 3Ah and 12Ah pouch cells with thousands of charge/discharge cycles which is a key issue for fast charging batteries. The company is aiming at automotive, transportation, premium consumer electronics and grid-storage applications.

The Series-A funding round has been led by CBMM, the leading supplier of niobium products, and BGF with the University of Cambridge, Origin Capital and other existing shareholders also taking part.

"We are tremendously excited to start the next stage in our journey to bring the Echion Mixed Niobium Oxide products to market. We have great synergies within our investor base, and will keep building a world-leading team to deliver exceptional performance to our customers. We look forward to creating value for our partners and contributing to making superfast charging batteries a reality," said Jean de La Verpilliere, CEO of Echion.

Richard Pugh, Investor at BGF, who joins the Board of Echion says: "Echion has huge potential to use its cutting-edge battery chemistry technology to accelerate the adoption of batteries in a range of applications. BGF is convinced that batteries will play a critical role in the energy transition, and identified that Echion's technology brings significant benefits in key areas such as fast-charging or high-power applications."

"This funding round will support an exceptional management team in completing the final push to commercial adoption, working in parallel with a range of very high quality stakeholders for instance recent joint projects with Johnson Matthey, and a number of other high profile international customers."

Rodrigo Amado, Head of Strategy and New Ventures at CBMM says: "This partnership is part of our global strategy to accelerate the time to market of our Battery Materials Business front and bring to market an innovative niobium applied technology that will truly transform the way the world moves. Together, CBMM and Echion will advance towards sustainable mobility by offering ultra-fast charging batteries that have greater stability and longer life. We are optimistic and believe that these new products will be available within the next year."

Echion also want to hear from other cell or battery material manufacturers who also wish to evaluate its products.

Chris Gibbs, Investment Manager at Cambridge Enterprise said: "Having supported Echion right from the start of its journey to commercialise its novel lithium-ion battery technology, Cambridge Enterprise is delighted to see it complete this significant funding round. Echion is now in a very strong position to deliver on the team's robust commercial traction and make a significant impact in the industry."

www.echiontech.com

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