Faradion and AGM Batteries win government funding for sodium-ion EV batteries

  • Partnership will develop sodium-ion chemistry for use in road cars by 2025
  • Sodium-ion battery technology could significantly reduce the cost of future electric vehicles
  • £38m Innovate UK fund aims to make the UK a global leader in exporting state-of-the-art emissions-cutting technology

11 May 2016. The innovator of sodium-ion battery technology, Faradion, in partnership with AGM Batteries, has been awarded funding to develop its pioneering battery technology for electric vehicles. The project, which is part of Innovate UK’s £38.2m initiative to make the UK a global leader in emissions-cutting technology, could see sodium-ion batteries powering production cars by as early as 2025.

By using highly abundant sodium salts rather than lithium, it is expected that sodium-ion batteries will be around 30% cheaper to produce than conventional lithium-ion cells. This could dramatically reduce the cost of electric vehicles.

Faradion and AGM will develop its sodium-ion battery technology to meet vehicle manufacturer specifications, delivering a working prototype for EVs by 2018. This will then be tested by a number of OEMs, which are also involved in Innovate UK projects, to develop EV powertrains.

The programme will see the partners modify existing sodium-ion technology to make it suitable for use in EVs, which includes adapting the active materials at the cathode and anode to meet OEM specification.

Faradion’s CEO, Francis Massin, said: “This project will help the automotive industry to develop a more stable, sustainable and cost-effective solution to electric vehicle power than is currently available. Faradion’s leading role in this is demonstrates its position as the driving force in the development of sodium-ion battery technology.”

As well as nearly £400,000 Innovate UK funding, the project will be made possible thanks to significant financial backing by Finance Yorkshire. Faradion was one of the first investments made by Finance Yorkshire, allowing the company to develop its sodium-ion technology for a number of real-world applications.

Collaborating with Faradion on the project will be UK-based cell developer and manufacturer, AGM Batteries. Faradion is already working in partnership with AGM Batteries to commercialise sodium-ion technology for high-volume manufacture at its 4,000m2production facility in Caithness, Scotland.  AGM have been awarded £700k from Innovate UK to help develop the technology and produce first prototypes.

Kevin Brundish, CEO of AGM Batteries, said: "AGM is delighted to work with Faradion on its sodium-ion technology, ‎helping develop and commercialise an innovative UK technology. AGM is uniquely positioned to take such technologies to market; in addition to the automotive industry, a low cost and safe battery technology has wide ranging opportunities including grid storage and oil and gas applications."

Faradion recently announced that it was awarded Innovate UK funding to develop sodium-ion technology in batteries for solar energy storage in conjunction with Moixa Technology and WMG, University of Warwick.

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About Faradion Ltd

Faradion is pioneering the next generation of advanced, low-cost battery materials. These novel materials employ sodium-ion (Na-ion) technology which, when incorporated into batteries, will be virtually indistinguishable in terms of performance from the leading lithium-ion (Li-ion) products currently on the market.

Na-ion batteries have a number of benefits compared to battery technologies already on the market, with the foremost advantage being the low cost. The sodium salts used to prepare these battery materials are highly abundant, coming from more renewable sources than those of equivalent lithium salts, making them both cheap and easily obtainable. If compared to the equivalent salts used to make Li-ion batteries, the cost is approximately 1/10th.

Faradion was virtually the first investment made by Finance Yorkshire and is headquartered in Sheffield’s Innovation Centre. See more at: www.faradion.co.uk

About AGM Batteries Limited

AGM Batteries works with clients and partners to scale new battery cell technologies through to manufacture.  Our business involves the transfer of developed laboratory & 'pilot scale' processes to our facility. The team has extensive experience in electro-chemistry, cell technology development, scaling for manufacture and bringing new products to market.

We also work with Research groups and pilot scale facilities in the earlier stages of development to aid with Design for Manufacture. 

AGM also provides a manufacturing service for client companies, producing cells on their behalf. We have the flexibility to manufacture a broad range of chemistries and cell types in pouch or cylindrical formats for our clients under sub-contract or as a Licensee.  Further information can be found at www.agmbatteries.com or e-mail enquiries@agmbatteries.co.uk. 

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