First glimpse of unique energy-saving bike in Sheffield

Left to right, Dr Ruth Sayers, Faradion's Sheffield site manager with Finance Yorkshire's Ashwin Kumaraswamy.
Left to right, Dr Ruth Sayers, Faradion's Sheffield site manager with Finance Yorkshire's Ashwin Kumaraswamy.
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Experts at a Sheffield-based energy developing firm recently gave the world a glimpse of the first sodium-ion powered vehicle.

Faradion, based at the city’s Innovation Centre, is pioneering low-cost sodium-ion battery technology, capable of reducing the cost of renewable energy storage. Project leaders recently gave a demonstration of their sodium-ion powered e-bike at the centre as a ‘proof of concept’ designed to showcase the capabilities of sodium-ion technology.

The company’s pioneering technology enables the replacement of lithium-ion batteries with the more commonly available and sustainable sodium, without impacting adversely on the performance of large scale batteries. The project was boosted by Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn Fund, which initially invested in 2011 and has since given further grants.

Chris Wright, Faradion chairman, said: “The development of a sodium-ion powered e-bike was a major milestone for our pioneering technology, and demonstrated its capability. Sodium-ion batteries have the potential to revolutionise the supply of electric batteries for stationary storage and automotive applications. Finance Yorkshire’s investments have enabled us to further develop our technology as well as scale up production of our next-generation battery materials. Future users of our technology will be able to secure high quality materials in commercial volumes at competitive prices.”

Sodium-ion batteries are less expensive than lithium-ion. They also have significant safety advantages, as they can be transported in a discharged state.