The UK’s Breathe Battery Technologies was spun out of Imperial College London in 2019 by Dr Ian Campbell, Dr Yan Zhao and Professor Greg Offer. They saw a lack of time, energy and funds being invested into solving the fundamental issues with batteries, and knew that high-performance, long-life, affordable batteries would be essential for electric mobility.
The company, which has developed physics-based battery management software, has just announced new funding that will help it scale its product offering.
“Since its inception, our focus has been on building battery technology to contribute to a faster, better and more sustainable electrification of the world,” Dr Campbell, Breathe’s CEO, tells Auto Futures.
“Adaptive charging pushes the battery harder when it’s new and capable, and dynamically adapts as the battery ages to protect battery health. Accordingly, Breathe Charge provides more range per minute charging,” he adds.
For automotive brands, the improvement in charging time that Breathe provides enables them to offer their customers an enhanced experience.
“EV users care about mobility. They want to drive their kids home safely before they run out of battery. They want to make long journeys without spending too much time stationary. And they don’t want to replace their car battery for a long time. Breathe Charge solves this by reducing charging time, while simultaneously maintaining energy density and cycle life. EVs will have more range added in less time charging which means users can spend less time plugged into the charger to achieve the same distance.”
From Hypercars To EVs
“By dynamically managing the electrochemical states inside the battery, Breathe Life can enhance cycle life and average state of health. Batteries retain pristine system performance for longer, meaning increased longevity and sustainability,” says Dr Campbell.
“With Breathe Life, EV companies can bring battery degradation under control by avoiding the damaging positive feedback loop where the control strategy becomes too aggressive for the battery’s state of health. With charging that actively adapts to the state of health, Breathe Life provides enhanced capacity retention and greater cycle life.”
Breathe is currently working with several automotive companies with various use cases, ranging from high-performance hypercars to high-volume EVs.
“These companies include Rimac and Cosworth, the latter of which has confirmed they ‘have been able to experimentally verify faster charge speeds, while also reducing thermal losses and maintaining battery health across the entire battery lifecycle’, since working with us.”
Smoother Charging Experiences
Breathe’s $10 million Series A funding will primarily be used to accelerate its product development,
“We will also use it to expand our market presence, enabling us to work with even more automotive and consumer electronics brands to provide them with our physics-based battery management software. We want our products to contribute to the fight against climate change, and this funding will enable us to do that,” explains Dr Campbell.
Finally, we asked him for his thoughts on what EV charging will look like by the end of the decade.
“There will be winners and losers in the battery ecosystem, some of which emerge as the dominant players in fast charging control. They’re likely to be those players that invest most deeply today in technology, wade through the pain barrier of connecting the end-user’s charging experience to the underlying limits of the electrochemistry, and delivering that in affordable ways,” he predicts,
“We’ll see the decisions of the major car OEMs play out, as they grapple with the balance of what to own in-house and when to partner externally. We’re already seeing with the increasing adoption of silicon in the negative electrodes today as another good example of the relentless rate of change that everyone needs to keep pace with to deliver healthy fast-charging experiences.”
“The combined effects of these gains will result in end-users having overall smoother charging experiences that are both faster and less damaging to the battery, at a time when mobility becomes even more of a priority and demand for EVs will continue to rise,” concludes Dr Campbell.