News & Analysis

Echion secures $35m investment

17th June 2024
Caitlin Gittins

Echion Technologies, a developer of niobium-based fast-charging battery materials, has successfully completed its Series B funding round, securing $35 million in investment capital. 

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

This investment will support Echion's go-to-market strategy, enabling its innovative niobium-based XNO anode material to be used in real-world applications at scale. Volta’s investment marks its first in a European company, highlighting Echion's emerging status within the global energy storage sector.

Echion’s long-standing partnership with CBMM, a producer of niobium, will see the opening of a 2,000-tonne-per-year XNO manufacturing facility this year. This facility will provide the capacity to meet the growing demand for XNO from major cell manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide.

Jean de La Verpilliere, CEO of Echion Technologies, said: “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.”

Dr Jeff Chamberlain, CEO and Founder of Volta Energy Technologies, added: “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.”

“Having invested in Echion since 2021, we are pleased to see the progress that has been made through our partnership so far and we are proud to support bringing this ground-breaking, niobium-based technology to the market with our 2,000 tonne per year manufacturing capacity,” commented Rodrigo Barjas Amado, Managing Partner and Commercial Head of Battery Program at CBMM.

Echion has developed, tested, and patented the niobium-based anode material XNO, which delivers lithium-ion battery performance ideal for industrial, commercial, and high-value applications requiring high uptime, low total cost of ownership, and high safety. XNO enables lithium-ion batteries to safely charge in under ten minutes, maintain high energy densities at low temperatures, and deliver high power across a lifecycle of over 10,000 cycles.

Echion is at the forefront of the British battery industry and deep tech innovation. Applications powered by XNO include battery electric and hybrid trains, mining haul trucks, opportunity-charging e-buses, and heavy-duty industrial transport and delivery vehicles. Echion's XNO materials are based on proprietary mixed niobium oxide compositions and microparticle designs, protected by 13 international patent families, and are now being scaled to multi-thousand-tonne-per-year production.

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