Rechargeable Batteries for Electric Vehicles

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology has received a huge boost with the investment of £40 million in Nexeon, the company pioneering the use of silicon anodes in place of carbon. The Series C investment was led by existing investor Imperial Innovations Group and included Invesco Perpetual; both organisations are existing investors.

Nexeon plans to use the new funding to establish a world class manufacturing facility, scaling up the production of its latest silicon anode materials to around 250 tonnes per annum, representing a commercial supply level. Use of silicon anodes in Li-ion batteries produces a significantly higher performance and overcomes the limitations of present-day technology. Batteries with higher energy density can offer longer time between charges, higher power output, smaller size or a combination of these benefits. They are eagerly awaited for application in cell phones, laptops and many other consumer devices, as well as having important application in electric vehicles and in storage of renewable energy.

The latest funding brings the total raised by Nexeon to £55 million, and will allow the company further to accelerate application development and to increase support to its customers. The investment comes at an ideal time for Nexeon as strong progress is being made in commercial negotiations and customer-led projects. Customer traction is now being gained with major global companies in the fields of consumer electronics and automotive in particular.

Nexeon’s technology has reached unprecedented levels of performance in the last year, and the company recently announced that it had it produced sample cells with significantly higher capacity for their size than the best current commercial equivalents. As Nexeon expands the scope of its activities it will be looking to create and fill a number of key commercial, technical and supply chain positions.

“This is the next step in an amazing journey for this exciting UK start up”, says Nexeon Chairman Dr Paul Atherton, who founded the company back in 2005 with Professor Mino Green of Imperial College. “It’s a superb example of UK high value manufacturing involving sophisticated advanced materials, and this funding will enable Nexeon to establish the first in a series of manufacturing plants that will be needed to serve demand worldwide.”

“We are naturally delighted at the support shown by our investors who see the potential of our silicon anode technology and the excellent progress being made by our team”, said Dr Scott Brown, CEO of Nexeon. “With the strong financial backing of Innovations and Invesco Perpetual, we are well placed and very much on track to meet our customers’ needs and to achieve our commercial ambitions.”

Susan Searle, Imperial Innovations’ CEO, said: “This new funding round will enable Nexeon to scale up its production facilities, in keeping with Innovations’ strategy to accelerate the development of its advanced portfolio companies, and to stay with those companies for longer. We are privileged to work alongside Nexeon’s world class team as they continue the development of their battery technology and set up a leading edge manufacturing facility.”

Last month, Nexeon was presented with the Green Technology award at Venturefest in recognition of the company’s innovative technology and demonstrable commercial potential.