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Atraverda launches low-cost, high-end performance e-bike batteries

New malleable battery technology could bring down cost of top performing electric bikes

Atraverda has created a new type of lead battery, offering performance similar to that of lithium cells, but at a fraction of the cost.

Atraverda’s ceramic lead batteries have been in development for ten years and are now being touted commercially for the first time. The firm revealed to BikeBiz that it is currently in discussion with five or six companies in the electric transport sector, with a view to signing a deal to put its batteries into transport products.

“We have three fundamental USPs,” Atraverda CEO Graham Ryan told BikeBiz. “One is energy density performance at low cost, and I think that’s crucial that we are at low cost.

“The second is the form factor – we can make our battery any shape we want – so if you wanted a battery to fit between the seat tube and the back wheel for instance, we could actually make a triangular battery.

“Thirdly, we at Atraverda can add layers onto the battery to produce batteries of different voltages.”

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The Atraverda boss explained how the gap in the battery market arrived: “There was an initial feeling that lithium batteries would take over the whole space. But it’s quite interesting as the e-bike market mirrors what we’re seeing in the overall electric vehicle market – that yes there’s a place for the lithium high-end, but the vast majority of people buying e-transport can’t necessarily afford it.

“The other problem is that traditional lead acid is too heavy and bulky, so with our technology we’re able to bridge the gap between lead acid and lithium batteries – we’re extending the performance envelope of lead acid batteries. The performance isn’t as good as lithium, but it’s pretty close. As the markets mature I see that there will be an increasing need for that advanced lead acid technology, so I see a great opportunity for us.

“Inside it’s still a lead battery. The key point is that our price is a quarter to 20 per cent of lithium batteries so you can have four changes before you spend that kind of money,” Ryan added.

Read the full interview online with Atraverda CEO Graham Ryan, below

Can you give us some background to the company?
We’ve been around a number of years and basically started out as a materials company and ended up with a product which is basically a ceramic powder. Because it is ceramic it doesn’t break down in acid, so at the time the guys felt it could be used with batteries to make a lead acid battery more effective.

We’ve spent the last ten years or so developing it into an all bells and whistles advanced lead acid battery, which we now have.

We’ve just started commercialising it and obviously in the e-mobility and e-bike markets there is huge potential for it. We’re based in Wales and we have an automated production plant running now so we’re well past the lab scale and we have a programme now to really scale that up.

We’re looking at two markets; one is stationery power and the other side is the electric vehicles as a generic term. That’s everything from e-bikes, wheelchairs, low speed electric vehicles right into hybrid electric vehicles, so there’s a complete stretch.

There was an initial feeling that lithium batteries would take over the whole space. But it’s quite interesting as the e-bike market mirrors what we’re seeing in the overall electric vehicle market is that yes there’s a place for the lithium high-end, but that the vast majority of people buying e-transport can’t necessarily afford it.

The other problem is that traditional lead acid is too heavy and bulky so with our technology we’re able to bridge the gap between lead acid and lithium batteries – we’re extending the performance envelope of lead acid batteries. The performance isn’t as good as lithium, but it’s pretty close. As the markets mature I see that there will be an increasing need for that advanced lead acid technology, so I see a great opportunity for us.
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