Funding boost for niobium battery startup Echion

Funding boost for niobium battery startup Echion

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK battery startup Echion Technologies has secured significant investment from Volta Energy Technologies

The investment from US-based investor Volta Energy Technologies to further accelerate the scale-up and commercialisation of our advanced niobium battery anode materials. The investment will enable Echion to meet growing customer demand in North America, South Korea, China, and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

This is Volta’s first investment into a European headquartered company as the organisation extends and expands its investments within the larger European battery and energy technology ecosystem.

Echion’s niobium-based XNO anode material delivers long cycle life, fast charging capability and outstanding safety in lithium-ion batteries for use in heavy duty industrial and grid storage applications. Volta’s investment comes alongside Echion’s existing manufacturing partnership with the world’s largest niobium miner, CBMM, which will deliver a 2,000 tonne per year supply capacity by 2024.

The value of the investment was not disclosed, but Echion has so far raised £13m and the deal is large enough for Volta to have a seat on the board and an observer.

“We are very pleased to see the traction that XNO is gathering worldwide in the battery industry, and are confident that Volta’s backing and outstanding reputation in the battery industry will help further accelerate our commercial deployment. We are now on the cusp of reaching mainstream market at scale, and Volta’s investment is a great validation of the work accomplished to date,” said Jean de La Verpilliere, Co-founder and CEO of Echion Technologies.

“We are excited to have Volta and their world-class team joining us and supporting the vision we have for Echion. We look forward to benefiting from their technical, commercial, and corporate insights as we grow further. Together with our manufacturing partnership with CBMM, this investment will enable us to widen and accelerate the adoption of XNO in our target markets, enabling our customers to produce safer, faster-charging, and longer-life batteries.”

The Niobium-based XNO technology can meet the demand for electrification of heavy industry that cannot be suitably served by existing solutions.

“The Volta team is delighted to be an investor in Echion as it scales its differentiated XNO technology,” said Dr Jeff Chamberlain, CEO and Founder of Volta Energy Technologies.

“The technology Echion is bringing to the battery industry complements Volta’s growing investment portfolio of valuable technologies that solve challenging problems within sizable market segments. The industrial and off-highway transportation sector is a significant portion of the global energy transition, and Echion’s product uniquely unlocks performance in lithium-ion batteries that can meet the precise demands of these applications. Volta is excited to support the Echion team as it introduces its technology to new international markets.”

Chamberlain has served on the board of the UK’s Faraday Institution and Volta has cultivated and maintained relationships within several key European research institutions as well as Tier 1 automotive and industrial OEMs.

Volta will use these relationships as well as its US network, which includes solid state battery maker Solid Power, to support Echion to accelerate the commercialisation of the XNO anode material.


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