EV Breakthrough: Batteries one HALF cost, THREE times more power
March 1, 2012
If you’re one of those worried about the battery on your expensive EV running out, look away now. Envia has unveiled a new cell that boasts a record-breaking energy density of 400Wh/kg (most currently offer between 100 and 150). It’s estimated that when commercialized, this could bring the cost of a 300-mile range EV down to as little as $20,000. The performance gains come from a special manganese-rich cathode and silicon-carbon nano-composite anode combination. The battery maker is also partly owned by GM, which unsurprisingly means we’re likely to see these very cells in its EVs in the future. Perhaps with the right choice of upholstery, we might see even better savings?
Envia Systems announced that it has made a cell with an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) that will be priced at roughly $125 per kilowatt-hour. This means that a $20,000 EV could travel about 300 miles on a single charge.
“In an industry where energy density tends to increase five percent a year, our achievement of more than doubling state-of-art energy density and lowering cost by half is a giant step towards realizing Envia’s mission of mass market affordability of a 300-mile electric vehicle,” said Envia Systems Chairman and CEO Atul Kapadia.
“Since the inception of Envia, our product team has worked tirelessly and logged over 25 million test channel hours to optimally develop each of the active components of the battery: Envia’s proprietary Si- C anode, HCMR cathode and EHV electrolyte,” said Dr. Sujeet Kumar, Envia Systems co-founder, president & CTO. “Rather than just a proof-of-concept of energy density, I am pleased that our team was successful in actually delivering 400 Wh/kg automotive grade 45 Ah lithium-ion rechargeable cells.”
Envia’s cells have already been put through independent testing by the Electrochemical Power Systems Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center. The battery is expected to hit the market by 2015, and General Motors was named a key investor in the product, which could someday put EVs like the Chevrolet Volt in the top ranks and promote EV adoption.
If you care about whether your tax dollars are being well spent, note: “In 2009, Envia received $4 million from the Energy Department’s ARPA-E program to “develop lithium-ion batteries with the highest energy density in the world.”