This French start-up is (really) revolutionizing battery technology

If you’re interested in batteries, you may have heard of them sodium-ion batteries. These work more or less like lithium-ion batteries, but instead of lithium they use sodium, which is difficult to obtain and is in growing demand. And in this market, the startup Tiamat, which is a spin-off from CNRS, wants to position itself as one of the main players.

As Tiamat president Hervé Beuffe explained in an interview with CNRS, the startup has recently achieved a feat that no other company in the world has yet achieved: the marketing of a consumer product powered by a sodium ion battery. We’re not talking about electric cars or smartphones at this point. This first product is a cordless screwdriver that will be sold by Leroy Merlin.

CNRS spin-off @TiamatEnergy launches the first consumer product powered by sodium ion technology. This cordless screwdriver 🪛 will be on some shelves @leroymerlinfr since October. #CNRSenergy 🔋 @cnrsinnovation

— CNRS 🌍 (@CNRS) October 26, 2023

In any case, this is a “world first”. It’s also an important step for Tiamat, which will need to supply tens or even thousands of sodium ion cells. And it’s another step towards Tiamat’s goal for 2025. In fact, it intends to enter the industrial phase by opening a factory capable of producing 500,000 to 700,000 sodium-ion batteries in 2025. To realize this big project, the startup intends to raise 100 million euros, incl. 50 million euros of equity. The financing round could be closed by the end of the year.

Sodium-ion battery: what are the advantages?

Hervé Beuffe explains in an interview that Tiamat batteries are free lithium and cobalt, which is generally used in conventional batteries. These resources are under pressure and dependence on supplier countries is a weakness for France. But that’s not all, as President Tiamat also mentions performance benefits.

“(…) our batteries are more durable – with a lifespan of 10 years compared to 3-4 years for lithium batteries under continuous use conditions – and 10 times faster charging (in just 5 minutes). And at a price corresponding to lithium-based technologies.he explained.

And if the Tiamat cells only power screwdrivers for the time being, the French company is already targeting the electric vehicle market as well as the storage of intermittent energy such as wind or solar energy. Tiamat is also interested in renting vehicles because they need short charging times. Meanwhile, the startup has already tested the use of its technology on scooters, forklifts and electric scooters.

Also note that sodium-ion batteries are already the focus of battery experts. Among them is the world leader CATL.

  • CNRS French startup Tiamat specialized in sodium-ion batteries and launched the first ever consumer product based on this technology.
  • This is an electric screwdriver sold by Leroy Merlin powered by a sodium ion battery
  • However, Tiamat is also targeting the electric car market as well as intermittent renewable energy storage.
  • Tiamat wants to enter the industrial phase in 2025, opening a factory capable of producing up to 700,000 batteries per day
  • The startup is preparing a financing round of 100 million euros to implement this project

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