More funding for Bristol firm plugging into the power of graphene to drive down EV battery costs

March 15, 2024

The Bristol company behind pioneering technology that aims to reduce electric vehicle (EV) battery charging times while also cutting manufacturing costs has received more funding to further develop the system.

Anaphite’s latest £1.6m round, which has come from a range of backers and Innovate UK, follows an injection of £1.2m in 2022 and £4.1m last year.

The firm was launched five years ago by university graduates Sam Burrow and Alex Hewitt, pictured below, to explore ways of exploiting the potential of graphene in the batteries.

It has since worked with a major European electric vehicle (EV) battery maker.

Anaphite’s technology incorporates low-cost graphene into the cathode, enabling higher charge rates due to the high connectivity of the graphene.

The revolutionary material is stronger than steel and is a conductor of electricity and heat.

The firm’s ‘dry’ manufacturing process does not require drying ovens, which it says can reduce the cost of battery cell manufacturing by up to 40% and reduce the carbon footprint of the process.

With 30% of the cost of an EV its battery, and half the battery’s cost its cathode, Anaphite believes the technology is ripe for innovation to drive down costs and raise performance – and using graphene to boost cathode efficiency could be the answer. 

If successful, the trials could lead a commercially viable power unit by 2028.

Anaphite CEO Joe Stevenson said: “We are directing all these resources into enabling the step-change in battery manufacturing that is dry electrode coating.

“We’ve made this choice because of the double impact of reducing the energy needed to make EVs and of increasing the uptake of EVs by reducing their cost.”

Just over £880,000 of the latest funding came from private investors and was the second round led by Elbow Beach Capital.

The decarbonisation and sustainable energy-focused investor made the investment as an “advanced subscription for Anaphite’s Series A funding round”, which is currently ongoing.

The remaining £685,000 is grant funding through the Investor Partnerships Future Economy programme, which is run by government innovation agency Innovate UK.

Other backers include Wealth Club – which provided over 50% of funding and has so far invested over £1.4m in Anaphite – along with Bristol Private Equity Club, which has now invested three times, and a number of angel investors.

Elbow Beach Capital CEO Jon Pollock said: “We have seen that demand for EVs is price elastic, so reducing the cost of vehicles is essential to achieving their widescale roll-out.

“A transition away from fossil fuel-powered transport is critical to achieving net zero, but policy and regulation changes risk being regressive if there are not accessible, affordable options for consumers, particularly at a time of cost-of-living challenges.

“This makes technology like Anaphite’s critical to a fair transition and a very compelling investment for us.”

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