A developer of niobium-based fast-charging battery materials has raised £29 million in a Series B round of investment.

Born in the labs of the University of Cambridge Engineering Department in 2017, Echion Technologies’ headquarters are in Sawston, a few miles outside Cambridge.

Its XNO niobium-based anode material enables lithium-ion batteries to fast charge safely in less than 10 minutes, with high energy density and a cycle life of more than 10,000 cycles. 

The round was led by specialist battery and energy storage technology investor Volta Energy Technologies, with participation from existing investors CBMM, BGF and Cambridge Enterprise Ventures.

The investment will enable Echion to execute its go-to-market strategy and see XNO utilised in real-world applications, at volume. 

Echion is Volta’s first investment into a European headquartered company. Echion has a long-standing partnership with the world’s leading producer of niobium, CBMM, which will see the opening of a 2,000 tonne per year XNO manufacturing facility this year. 

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This provides Echion with the manufacturing capacity to satisfy the large and growing demand for XNO across its global customer base, comprised of major cell manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers.

“Our ambition is to deliver the best fast-charging batteries to unlock the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles,” said Jean de La Verpilliere, CEO.

“The investment from our partners Volta Energy Technologies, CBMM, BGF and Cambridge Enterprise Ventures cements our ambition to achieve full-scale commercialisation and full production volume.

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“The entire Echion team has worked tirelessly to develop our flagship XNO material into what it is today and this has enabled us to establish partnerships with many major OEMs and cell manufacturers which have recognised the benefits of our materials. 

“I look forward to being able to satisfy their demand for innovative niobium-based anode materials, and to see industrial and commercial applications powered by XNO.”

Applications powered by XNO include battery electric and hybrid trains, mining haul trucks, opportunity-charging e-buses, heavy-duty industrial transport and delivery vehicles. 

Dr Jeff Chamberlain, CEO and founder of Volta Energy Technologies, said: “We are excited to lead Echion’s Series B and make Volta’s first investment in Europe. 

“Echion and their XNO technology complements our growing portfolio of technologies that address significant market needs through innovations in the supply chains of battery and energy storage technology. 

“We believe the power of XNO can uniquely improve performance, lower cost, and meet the demands of the growing, international markets across mining, logistics, railways, automotive and more.”

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