By Nick Carey
LONDON (Reuters) - A consortium including South Korean chemical company SK Co Ltd has invested $80 million in British battery materials startup Nexeon to ramp up production of its silicon anodes to meet global demand, the firms said on Wednesday.
The consortium, which includes private equity firms SJL Partners and BNW Investment, invested $33 million in Nexeon last November.
Nexeon, which is based in Abingdon, England, is known for producing silicon anodes, a crucial component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, which boost vehicle range and charging speed and lower charging costs.
As carmakers race to bring more electric vehicles to market, they are seeking ways to increase the range of their vehicles to give them a competitive edge, including by exploring new chemistries.
The startup said the funding and a new strategic partnership with SK would help it increase production and meet "rapidly increasing demands from its blue-chip customers in automotive and consumer electronics industries across Europe, North America, and Asia."
(Reporting by Nick Carey in London; Editing by Matthew Lewis)