EnerDel, Ener1’s Li-ion battery subsidiary; the US Department of Energy (DOE); and a heavy-duty OEM are partnering to develop high-energy Li-ion batteries for hybrid bus and heavy-duty vehicle markets. The partnership is a Congressionally directed program with a total budget of $1.25 million, 80% of which will be funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory at the DOE, and the remaining 20% percent will be funded by EnerDel.
The program is intended to test three EnerDel battery chemistries to determine which best meets the need of a heavy-duty drive cycle in extreme environments, ranging from hot and cold climates to operating for two or three minutes in all-electric mode, said Charles Gassenheimer, Chairman and CEO of Ener1. The chemistries to be evaluated are:
- Lithium manganese spinel (LiMn2O4-spinel, LMO) cathode, lithium titanate (Li4Ti5O12, LTO) anode
- LMO cathode, hard carbon anode
- Lithium layered metal oxide cathode (LiNiCoMnO2, NMC), hard-carbon anode
|US Battery Industry Would Require $10B Investment to Meet 2015 Plug-in Goals|
|Meeting President-Elect Obama’s campaign goal of 1 million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015 would require an investment of around $10 billion over the next two years if those battery packs were to be produced in the US, estimated Charles Gassenheimer, Chairman and CEO of Ener1.|
|“If you look at the numbers, we’re talking about somewhere in the region of $30-40 billion worth of batteries to get to one million. My business model suggests $1 of capex for every $4-6 of revenue.”|
|“If you use $40 billion in batteries and want to have those batteries domestically produced, you need to spend about $10 billion in capex over next two years to get there.”|
The first two (the Mn-based cathodes with LTO or hard carbon anodes) are EnerDel’s high- power battery formulations for application in HEVs. The NMC-hard carbon pairing is the high-energy EV/PHEV chemistry EnerDel is using in its packs being delivered to Think. (Earlier post.)
NMC materials are more thermally stable and less expensive than LiCoO2. While the material can be charged beyond 4.5V, and can offer higher capacity (e.g., more than 180Ah/kg) than LMO or iron phosphate (LiFePO4) systems, it is also less thermally stable than either of those two. EnerDel has been exploring improving the thermal stability of LiNi1/3Co1/3Mn1/3O2 at different states of charge with different doping materials.
The heavy duty OEM will identify and deliver drive cycle requirements for each environment. The program will partially complete the collection of testing and drive cycle data necessary to produce battery systems solutions for HEV bus and heavy duty vehicle markets.
EnerDel is the only manufacturer of automotive Li-ion batteries with US-based production. EnerDel recently acquired Enertech in Korea, broadening and expanding its production capacity. (Earlier post.)
Our customers want a global supply footprint...they are looking to supply their vehicles where they produce them. Shipping packs is going to be a problem over time. If a car company is building 30,000 to 50,000 packs, they want that assembly done next to the plant where they build the cars. The US is still the largest auto market. Being based here makes sense initially, but we have to have manufacturing in Europe and in mainland Asia.—Charles Gassenheimer