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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

Cambridge spinout, Echion Technologies has raised £29 million in investment capital to help it increase the production of its fast-charging, long-life battery material based on niobium.

Echion, a Cambridge University spinout headquartered just outside the city, has invented and patented a niobium-based anode material, XNO®, for use with re-chargeable lithium-ion batteries. The material enables the lithium-ion batteries to safely charge in less than ten minutes, last for more than 10,000 cycles and not lose power in extreme cold or hot temperatures.  

By improving the power density and thermal stability of lithium-ion batteries, XNO® extends their lifespan. Batteries using XNO®  have been shown to have a lower environmental impact than those based on other commonly used materials such as graphite. Graphite is the dominant anode material, with over 90% market share, due to its high energy density and low cost. But for fast charging, graphite-based cells are limited in maximum charge rate compared to XNO® based cells. XNO®’s higher capacity retention and cycle life when charging, across a wider temperature range, boosts available battery capacity. Despite the same volume and weight, higher total energy delivered across the lifetime of the battery lowers total cost of ownership.

The £29 million investment will mean Echion’s XNO® anode material can start to be used in real-world applications, such as battery electric and hybrid trains, mining haul trucks, opportunity-charging e-buses, heavy-duty industrial transport and delivery vehicles.



"Our ambition is to deliver the best fast-charging batteries to unlock the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles. 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.

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®."Jean de La Verpilliere, CEO of Echion Technologies


Read the full University of Cambridge article.