Fast-charging battery startup Gaussion powers up with new investment

The UCL spinout has secured a £2.85m equity deal with BGF and UCL Technology Fund, to support its innovative technology.

20 April 2023

Gaussion, a UCL spinout that has developed new technology to allow ultrafast and safe battery charging, has raised £2.85 million in a seed investment round led by BGF and UCL Technology Fund (UCLTF).

Shortening battery charging times is important not only for EVs but also for phones, power tools, drones, and other applications. Although lithium-ion batteries were developed in the 1980s, the damage inflicted by repeated fast-charging has remained a thorn in the side of the industry as these products have moved into the mainstream. No cost-effective solution yet exists which prevents the irreversible damage associated with rapid charging.

Gaussion’s technology can unlock truly ‘rapid’ charging on existing commercially available battery cells. The team has taken commercial cells designed to charge in one to five hours and demonstrated 1,000+ cycles of consecutive 10-minute charging while still meeting all warranty specifications.

Gaussion was first conceived by Dr Thomas Heenan and Dr Chun Tan back in 2017 at the UCL Electrochemical Innovation Lab. Inspired by their earlier work, using particle accelerators to analyse energy materials such as batteries and fuel cells, they saw an opportunity to apply similar technologies to tackle commercial challenges.

High market demand is being driven by the need to provide over £100 billion of charging infrastructure by 2035 in Europe alone. With looming Net Zero targets, it is an area of strategic importance for governments and vehicle manufacturers alike.

Dr John Miles, Chair of Gaussion, who has been engaged for more than a decade in the UK’s campaign to develop EV charging infrastructure, said: “The electrification of transport will be a big part of society’s journey towards a low carbon economy. That journey must be accomplished without delay, so it is imperative that we identify and remove the biggest barriers to EV adoption as quickly as possible. Range anxiety and long charging times are at the top of the list for attention and Gaussion’s new fast-charge technology promises to remove them.”

Dr Thomas Heenan, Co-Founder and CEO, Gaussion said: Gaussion’s vision is to bring affordable rapid charging to the mass market by allowing the average EV to achieve a week’s worth of driving in a sub-10-minute charge. Our commercially viable technology represents a novel, cost-effective, rapid charging solution for both today’s batteries and future battery technologies.”

The patent-pending rapid charging technology is primed to disrupt the global EV market by unlocking maximum power for re-charging while minimising degradation within the EV battery. The technology is agnostic to battery chemistry, promising a continued wide range of applications as improved battery technologies come to market.

Dr Chun Tan, Co-Founder and COO of Gaussion, added: “We’ve built a world-leading team that is now working to commercialise this innovation as rapidly as possible. We will leverage this investment to establish a state-of-the-art R&D facility in central London, to allow future growth and innovation.”

Dennis Atkinson, investor at BGF, said: “We are extremely excited by the opportunity to invest in a business that has developed an impressive and elegant solution to one of the most pressing issues in the EV battery space. Gaussion is a fantastic example of a highly innovative tech business that has the potential to significantly improve the take up of EVs on a global scale.”

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