LiNa Energy based in the UK have just closed a £3.5 million late seed funding round. It attracted a combination of existing and new investors who recognise the vast potential of their game-changing battery technology that could be used in electric vehicles (EVs).
This funding will enable the company to advance its technology by expanding its laboratory facilities, stepping up recruitment and buying new equipment. This will accelerate their commercialisation plan and ultimately when they are market-ready.
LiNa Energy, a spin-out from Lancaster University, established in 2017, is commercialising a safe, cobalt- and lithium-free solid-state sodium battery. The innovative design has the potential to greatly exceed both lithium-ion and rest-of-market sodium-ion technologies on all performance measures, and at a cost of less than $50/kWh.
This is the direction in which the next generation of electric car batteries is expected to go and LiNa are leading the charge. It is predicted that, if scaled-up, the LiNa Energy battery could save around 4.5 billion tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2050, accelerating global efforts towards net zero.
The funding, alongside recent grant success, gives LiNa Energy a firm foundation upon which to focus on two core activities. Firstly, accelerating the technology development by tripling the Lancaster-based laboratory, raising the headcount from 20 to 30 by the end of 2022 and buying additional equipment to improve the speed and quality of cell manufacturing processes.
Secondly, LiNa will be progressing commercialisation activities by securing customer trial partners in primary target markets of stationary energy storage and transport.
Dr Gene Lewis, LiNa Energy CEO, said: “This investment is a significant step towards achieving our goal to deliver a safe, affordable, mass-production solution to accelerate the two global mega-trends: electrification of transport and decarbonisation of energy.
“For a small yet disruptive technology company like LiNa Energy, this funding is critical. It provides us with a 24-month runway and enables us to push forward our commercialisation plans prior to building a pre-commercial production line in 2023.”