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?

Daily Tech:

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.”


5 Responses to “EV Breakthrough: Batteries one HALF cost, THREE times more power”

  1. dana1981 Says:

    Nice, I also read they’re hoping to be commericially ready in about 2 years. This could be a big breakthrough indeed.

  2. daveburton Says:

    Very nice! Wikipedia claims that Li-ion batteries can have energy densities of up to 250 W-hr/kg, and 400 W-hr/kg isn’t really 3x that, but it’s still an exciting improvement, if it holds up.

  3. MorinMoss Says:

    Glad to see breakthroughs that could make it to market in a couple years.

    But, most of the battery weight is support materials, not cells.
    So while the range should go up very signficantly, the weight reduction won’t be as impressive.

    Let’s say the cells in the Leaf are 200 Wh/kg so the weight of all the cells, for 24kWh should be 120 kg.

    But we know the entire pack weighs 300 kg so 180 kg won’t go away.
    Cutting the 120 kg in half by using 400 Wh cells will reduce the total weight to 240 kg which is a 20% reduction overall.

    That’s pretty darn good but not mind-blowing

    • greenman3610 Says:

      I’ll take pretty darn good.
      the limiting factor for most potential buyers is not weight, but

      • MorinMoss Says:

        True enough but I’m already seeing claims that this will cut the battery pack weight in half, which is not the case.

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