DG Innovate interest in sodium-ion batteries from investors and consumers (LON:DGI)

DG Innovate plc (LON:DGI) Chief Executive Officer Christopher Theis caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss the extension of its Pareta range for the heavy good vehicle sector, the next steps for this technology and what the company is looking to achieve in electric mobility and storage technologies.

Q1: DG Innovate came to market around a month ago, and today you’ve announced an expansion to your Pareta range of electric vehicle drives with the launch of the 400 kilowatt version. Can you just explain how this came about and what it’s designed to do?

A1: There are many, but one of the major benefits of the technology that we have is its scalability and that means both upwards and downwards, but in this case, what we’re looking at here is an upwards scale movement.

We’ve been working with a company which has a significant global position, particularly in the heavy vehicle transmission sector for quite a while now, and their interest is in Pareta range of E-drives, which as you know, we’ve already got a 250 kilowatt and a 100 kilowatt size offerings. Now, this 400 kilowatt drive specification was specifically designed by that customer to target its growing needs, particularly in the commercial heavy goods vehicle sector and that actually is where they see, and indeed we see, significant commercial opportunities.

It’s a very compact drive and that means that we see it as one of the leading contenders for use in the heavy truck, bus, and delivery van markets, military land vehicles, sea vessel drives and because of the unique design of our motors, it has specific suitability for safety-critical things like aircraft drives.

Q2: Just going forward, what are the next steps with this technology  and how close is it to being something that can be used in the real world or real world applications?

A2: We are just completing the final preparations to undertake performance and endurance verification testing, that’ll take place over the coming weeks and obviously the customer will be given the results. On the back of that, we would hope to be able to provide the market with further updates in due course.

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Q3: Now, DG Innovate’s portfolio of technologies also includes other electric mobility and storage technologies. Can you tell us more about these and what you’re looking to achieve?

A3: We do have and are lucky to benefit from any number of technologies but the specific area that is of focus to us outside of the E-drives is sodium-ion batteries. Now, we outlined the attractions and why this is an area of interest to us at the time we came to market and we are seeing increasing interest into the area from both investors and consumers alike.

We are currently undertaking, with a consortium, scaling testing to see what the results of taking the technology up to high volume processing and over the next few months, we’ll be looking to release the results of that testing with our consortium partners. We are hopeful that this will represent a real breakthrough in offering a suitable replacement to lithium batteries which are very much the incumbent technology at the moment.

As I think a lot of people are aware of, there are some pretty nasty environmental limitations and certainly physical limitations where we see the attractions of sodium-ion addressing those particular limitations and providing an economically sustainable source of power storage for the future.

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