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business | IST

Reliance New Energy Solar to acquire Faradion Limited; deal aims to make EV batteries cheaper

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Reliance New Energy Solar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries has signed an agreement to acquire Faradion Limited, a leading sodium-ion battery technology company. Faradion's batteries have wide use applications from mobility to grid-scale storage and backup power. Its batteries utilise sodium that will secure India's energy storage requirements for renewable energy and the fast-growing electric vehicle market.

Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has signed an agreement to acquire Faradion Limited, a leading sodium-ion battery technology company. The deal is worth GBP 100 million with RNESL investing GBP 25 million as growth capital in the company.
Based out of Sheffield and Oxford in the UK, Faradion provides access to high density, sustainable, and competitive cost battery technology. RNESL will use Faradion's state-of-the-art technology at its proposed fully integrated energy storage giga-factory as part of the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex project at Jamnagar.
The deal will further "strengthen and build upon our ambition to create one of the most advanced and integrated new energy ecosystems and put India at forefront of leading battery technologies," Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries said.
Conventional and widely used Lithium-ion batteries are currently at the forefront of the development of electric vehicles. However, they are unstable at high temperatures and expensive to manufacture. Sodium is a sustainable alternative to lithium. Sodium-ion batteries can offer some crucial advantages like affordability, sustainability, and safety. Plus, the energy density in sodium batteries is lower, which Faradion makes up for by offering high-energy-density batteries.
"Faradion's sodium battery provides a battery solution that is safe, sustainable, and provides a high energy density and is significantly cost-competitive," RIL Chairman added.
Faradion's batteries have wide use applications from mobility to grid-scale storage and backup power. Its batteries utilise sodium that will secure India's energy storage requirements for renewable energy and the fast-growing electric vehicle market, he added.
"This deal with Reliance firmly establishes Faradion’s sodium-ion batteries as an integral part of the global value chain for cheaper, cleaner, more sustainable energy for decades to come," Dr Chris Wright, Chairman and Co-founder of Faradion said in a press release.
Lithium is a scarce metal, but sodium is 1,200 times more abundant. Rather Sodium is the seventh most abundant material on the planet. It is mined with soda ash and is easily available, including in seawater. This abundance also makes sodium cheaper than lithium at a time when the price of lithium is continuously rising.
The price of 99.5 percent lithium has reached over Rs 27 lakh per tonne, rising over 450 percent in the past year. The prices are expected to increase well into the end of the decade, experts said. Plus, as the demand for lithium rises, electric vehicles could become more expensive, slowing down the adoption of electric vehicles.
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