Reliance New Energy Solar (RNESL) in India has bought sodium battery pioneer Faradion for £100m (US$135m) and will invest £25m to accelerate commercial roll out for a battery gigafactory in India.
Based out of Sheffield and Oxford in the UK, Faradion has an extensive IP portfolio covering several aspects of sodium-ion battery technology. This technology has greater sustainability, a patented zero-volt safe transport and storage capability and greater opportunity for scalability. Chinese battery maker CATL is developing sodium battery technology, while Tiamat Energy in France is scaling up production of its solidum battery technology for mild hybrid vehicles.
The total cost of ownership is already comparable to lead-acid, and performance at par with lithium-ion phosphate, both with opportunities for further improvements says Faradion.
“Dr Jerry Barker, Ashwin Kumaraswamy and I founded Faradion in 2010 to develop sodium-ion technology and bring it to market, with funds from Mercia Asset Management. This deal with Reliance firmly establishes Faradion’s sodium-ion batteries as an integral part of the global value chain for cheaper, cleaner, more sustainable energy for decades to come,” said Dr Chris Wright, Chairman and Co-Founder of Faradion.
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The company has deals to supply stationary energy storage systems in Australia and electric trucks in India.
“Faradion has been one of the first to champion sodium-ion battery technology,” said James Quinn, CEO of Faradion. “Reliance is the perfect partner for supporting Faradion’s growth in the rapidly expanding Indian market and to jointly speed up the transformation of the global energy market. Becoming part of the Reliance group validates the incredible work our team has done in advancing sodium-ion technology.”
Reliance will use Faradion’s state-of-the-art technology at its proposed fully integrated energy storage gigafactory as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project at Jamnagar in western India.
“We welcome Faradion and its experienced team to Reliance family,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries. “This will further strengthen and build upon our ambition to create one of the most advanced and integrated New Energy ecosystem and put India at the forefront of leading battery technologies. The sodium-ion technology developed by Faradion provides a globally leading energy storage and battery solution which is safe, sustainable, provides high energy density and is significantly cost competitive. In addition, it has wide use applications from mobility to grid scale storage and back-up power.”
“Most importantly, it utilizes sodium, which will secure India’s energy storage requirements for its large renewable energy and fast-growing EV charging market. We will work with Faradion management and accelerate its plans to commercialise the technology through building integrated and end-to-end giga scale manufacturing in India. We believe this will be one of our many steps that will also enable, accelerate, and secure large scale energy storage requirements for our Indian partners developing and transforming India’s EV mobility and transport sector.”
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