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Aceleron and Mobility 54 Investment SAS (part of Toyota Group) have agreed a partnership of investment and commercial programmes to scale Aceleron’s unique circular battery platform in Africa
Aceleron, pioneers in sustainable battery technology, has secured an investment deal with Mobility 54 Investment SAS, a subsidiary of Toyota Group, to accelerate battery innovation in Africa.
The announcement comes as Aceleron continues to make waves in the industry having secured a total of £5m funding from a combination of partners and investors including Mobility 54, the Business Growth Fund and Mercia in a series A round.
With an endorsement by the Department for International Trade, the investment will help to contribute to improved farming practices and mobility, driving economic prosperity in rural parts of Africa.
Aceleron launched its lithium-ion battery in 2021, removing the use of permanently bonded or fixed components to enable scalability, easy servicing, and functional and performance upgrades.
The global shift towards carbon neutrality in recent years has led to a huge increase in demand for battery energy storage. Africa is expected to experience rapid growth (forecast at 11% CAGR1) in the battery market due to the expansion of solar photovoltaics (PV) and e-micro mobility use.
With various low-cost and low-quality batteries currently available on the market, combined with insufficient infrastructure for safe disposal, the introduction of an affordable, high-quality solution is vital to the environment, human health, and the long-term viability of sustainable energy solutions in Africa.
Mobility 54’s investment in Aceleron will accelerate the carbon-neutral ambitions in the continent by establishing sustainable long-term battery power, with reuse and rebuild operations supporting Africa’s contributions to a circular economy.
Mobility 54 and CFAO SAS will contribute to the deployment of Aceleron’s technology by leveraging the group’s footprint throughout the continent using its existing business network and partners to create a series of synergies.
Alongside the investment, Mobility 54 is pursuing a commercial partnership in Africa with Aceleron to drive forward the use of the organisation’s batteries in solar panels (solar photovoltaics) and e-scooters (e-micro mobility).
While Africa is a core market for the business, Aceleron is pursuing innovation in Europe and India with its patented battery technology. This includes its ‘Essential’ battery – a next-generation product that is scalable, serviceable, and upgradeable to remove the hassle of replacing storage solutions every couple of years and reduce the amount of waste generated by the industry.
Dr. Amrit Chandan, CEO and Founder of Aceleron, said: “Aceleron was established in 2016 to create the most sustainable ESG positive battery in the world, enabling a future with reduced battery waste.
“The company began operations in Africa in 2021 and has started assembling repurposed and reconditioned battery packs for use by local communities. With the partnership funding and expansion of the battery, we are contributing to the electrification of the mobility and renewable energy sector in Africa.
“The deal is hugely important to us, with the future potential for all batteries in Africa to be 100% reusable thanks to Aceleron’s unique technology - supporting our global social mission to improve access to energy for all.”
Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford said: “UK businesses are paving the way for greener engineering. I’m proud the UK government has supported Aceleron from an early stage to develop their game-changing clean and sustainable battery packs which will improve access to clean energy across Africa, helping to develop a clean, green economy.
“Aceleron’s success in securing investment from Toyota is a shining example of how backing British technology can help unlock a sustainable future for all, which supports economic growth as the UK works through our COP26 Presidency and beyond to lead the fight against climate change.”
Minister for Exports Mike Freer said: “As the UK prepares to host the Africa Investment Conference on 20 January, it’s fantastic that West Midlands based company, Aceleron, have closed an investment deal with Toyota which will help them to use their unique technology to make batteries much more sustainable and help provide access to energy in Africa.
“This is a huge export opportunity and shows how British companies such as Aceleron are coming up with innovative ways of greener engineering.
“This investment will not only directly help Aceleron to double in size, but it also shows how sustainability is a core part in the future of battery space.”
In December 2021, Aceleron also secured an investment of over £900,000 to support ‘Project BATLAB’ as part of the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. The project will support more sustainable build processes for batteries in the UK market and will see the organisation working with collaborative partners to develop a facility to support the entire life cycle of the battery.
Aceleron has received research and development support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office via the Transforming Energy Access platform in partnership with UK charity, Shell Foundation, and Innovate UK, to help develop Aceleron’s technology and business model in Africa.
Mobility 54 continue to invest in partners with innovative technologies and services in order to help solve the social and industrial challenges in Africa.
President & CEO of Mobility 54 Takeshi Watanabe said: “We are committed to solving the challenges in Africa by investing in innovative technology and services. The group will work with Aceleron to generate a series of synergies with its existing businesses and partners – including a potential collaboration with its e-micro mobility and solar PV businesses.
“The new deal represents a huge step in the development of sustainable energy practices across the globe and is one we are proud to be a part of.”
Solar power station expected to provide a solution to climate and energy challenges is currently being trialled in Barbados.
The key message from COP27 was the importance of supporting the global south as the area continues to suffer the effects of the climate crisis more severely than the global north.