Nyobolt, a battery startup out of the University of Cambridge, received $10 million in funding on Thursday to continue its efforts in using niobium-based materials instead of lithium-ion to deliver faster charging to high-energy batteries.
The Series A round was led by IQ Capital, a “deep tech” investor, and Cambridge Enterprises, the commercial arm of the U.K. university. Nyobolt plans to use the funds for new facilities, global expansion and building engineering and operational teams.
The niobium-based batteries are what Nyobolt calls “paradigm-shifting battery technology” that have the potential to charge in less than one minute. Niobium material is capable of delivering extraordinary high power, an ultrafast charge and high-energy density. They are highly durable and can be operated within a wide temperature range, differentiating themselves from the common lithium-ion-based batteries.
Coming out of Cambridge, the team has extensive research published in academic journals to back up their claims. “Our founders have published in the world’s leading scientific journals, in a way none of our competitors have,” said Nyobolt Chief Executive Officer Sai Shivareddy in an interview with UK Tech News.
The company is led by Shivareddy and Cambridge’s well-known battery materials expert, professor Clare Grey. Their team consists of experts with decades of experience from Tesla, Samsung, DuPont and Dyson.
Nyobolt does not plan on using these batteries in consumer cars, but instead is targeting more niche markets like fleets of commercial vehicles, Formula E racing cars and eVTOL flying cars. These batteries could be game changing for electric aircraft, as they are able to provide a more powerful burst of energy that is necessary for aircraft to take off vertically.
These batteries will likely be two to three times more expensive than the standard EV battery, but Shivareddy believes customers will pay this premium if they are looking to minimize the downtime of their vehicles.
“When Clare and Sai first disclosed their discovery to Cambridge Enterprise nearly five years ago, we recognized that this would have the potential to be a paradigm shift in ultrafast battery charging,” Elaine Loukes, a Cambridge investment director, said in a press release. “The importance and significance of this technology to the post-carbon world cannot be overstated.”