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Envia Systems hits 400 Wh/kg target with Li-ion cells; could lower Li-ion cost to $180/kWh

Envia
Envia has developed Li-ion cells with an energy density of 400 Wh/kg using its proprietary HCMR cathode and Silicon-Carbon Composite anode. Credit: Envia Systems. Click to enlarge.

Envia Systems, the developer of high energy density Li-ion batteries using nano silicon-carbon composite anodes and high capacity layered-layered manganese composite cathodes (earlier post), will announce at the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit (EIS) this week that it has produced Li-ion cells offering an energy density of 400 Wh/kg.

Demonstrated in a 40 Ah pouch cell, the new system could lower Li-ion cell costs to $180/kWh, according to Sujeet Kumar, Co-founder, President & CTO, with further reductions to come. The cells feature active materials with high specific capacity: a 300 mAh/g cathode and nano Si-C composite anode with a capacity of 1600 mAh/g. Kumar said that the results have been verified by ARPA-E at an independent cell test facility.

Envia2
Cost roadmap. Source: Envia Systems. Click to enlarge.

In 2010, Envia Systems was awarded a $4-million grant from ARPA-E and another $1 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to support development of the high energy density Li-ion storage technology, targeted at plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Earlier this month at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference, Kumar presented some of the details around the development of its high energy density cells.

HCMR Cathode. Envia’s cathode—which they have labeled “high capacity Manganese rich” (HCMR)—is a lithium-rich layered-layered Li2MnO3·LiMO2 composite. The HCMR composite cathode materials offer twice the specific capacity and lower cost compared to more conventional cathode materials such as LiCoO2 , LiMn2O4, and LiFePO4.

Lithium-rich layered-layered composite cathode can suffer from high irreversible capacity loss (IRCL), which is very undesirable; oxygen loss, which can lead to gassing in pouch cells; high DC-resistance and onset of rise in DC-R at higher SOC; fade in average voltage upon cycling; and high Mn dissolution leading to poor cycle life and calendar life.

By engineering the cathode composition, structure, dopants, morphology and nano-coating, Envia is able to precisely control and tune the specific capacity, cycle life, calendar life, rate capability and physical properties of the material to match any application, overcoming those obstacles, Kumar said.

The HCMR cathode materials offer capacity of 220-295 mAh/g, and power of >1200 W/kg; cycle life @ 80% DOD is more than 1,000.

Envia HCMR vs. other Li-rich chemistries
  HCMR Other Li-rich
Capacity (mAh/g) 220-295 220
Power (W/Kg) >1200 <400
Cycle life @ 80% DOD >1000 <200
DC-R onset @13% @60%
Operating environment -30 to 55 °C RT to 45 °C
Process Scalability 100s kg small

Si-C Anode. While silicon can show very high specific capacities (~4000 mAh/g) as a anode material, it suffers from poor cycle life due to pulverization resulting from the large volume expansion during Li alloying/de-alloying.

Envia nano-engineered its Si-C anodes with a resulting high capacity (1530 mAh/g reversible capacity at C/3); good rate capability (95.5% capacity retention from C/20 to C/3); and good cycling performance (90% capacity retention after 50 cycles in a half cell).

HCMR/Silicon Composite Full Cells. Combining the cathode and anode in 2032 coin cells, Envia delivered high cathode capacity (250 mAh/g capacity at loading level> 25 mg/cm2) and high anode loading density (1530 mAh/g capacity at loading >5mg/cm2).

GCC will be speaking further with Sujeet Kumar at the ARPA-E EIS this week about the new Envia cell.

Comments

msevior

Wow. It's hard to see these being in mass production for 3 or years but these are a game changer if this is what we can expect from the industry in 2015. A total of 80 KWhr of batteries for $16K means BeV's of over 500 Km range for ~30K$.

The price of petrol in oz is already up to ~ $1.50/ litre, 500 KM range BeV's will find a very ready market here at those petrol prices.

All-in-all very promising!

Account Deleted

I am certain it is a fraud.
Their website contains no material information. Their company name is ridiculous and they make wild claims about battery cost despite not producing any batteries. If such a statement came from Panasonic I would be more convinced that it was true.

Davemart

@Henrik:
? Their website seems to contain pretty good information to me:

'1.1 Naval Service Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) Test & Evaluation Branch was tasked by Advanced Research Products Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to perform Verification & Validation testing on two high capacity lithium ion pouch type cells, manufactured by Envia Systems of Newark, California. The testing included verification of cell capacity and energy density at C/10 and C/3, 100% depth of discharge (DOD), as well as cell capacity and energy density at C/3, 80% DOD. One cycle at C/20 was performed at the manufacturer, therefore Crane's cycling started at cycle 2. Total testing cycles were 23, with 22 of those being performed at Crane (Cycles 2-23).

2. Test Samples

2.1 The Envia Systems cells are prototype lithium pouch rechargeable cells. The cells have a capacity of 46 Ah and an energy density of 400Wh/Kg. The cell's dimensions are approximately 97 mm wide, 190 mm long and 10 mm thick. The cell's approximate weight is 365 grams. Cell serial numbers are 400WhK-07-005-111205 (designated as 005) and 400WhK-07-006-111205 (designated as 006).

5. Conclusions

5.1 One of the highest energy cells used in consumer applications is the NCR18650A manufactured by Panasonic, which can be used as a comparative asset to the Envia cells. The NCR18650A cell specification claims 3100 mAh capacity, 3.6 V average and weighs 45.5 grams. The calculated energy density of this comparative cell would be approximately 245 Wh/Kg.

5.2 The test results from the prototype cells tested at Crane were in line with the results obtained from the manufacturer. The claims of 400 Wh/Kg were substantiated through the cycling tests performed at Crane. This is a 160% energy density increase over the industry standard indicated in paragraph 5.1.'

http://enviasystems.com/announcement/

I think that is a lot more info than most provide, and the testing agency is surely legitimate.

My reservations would centre around cycle life, although if they are building very big packs 1,000 cycles should last quite a time.

kelly

The fact that they had 3rd party/gov testing confirm their results is very encouraging. So is having a cell manufacturing facility. If price estimates are valid, watch for large oil money investments.

Engineer-Poet

C/3 isn't very much. What about the capacity at 3C and surge capacity at 10C? If a 16 kWh pack can supply 160 kW surge, that's enough for some very good performance.

At $180/kWh, a Volt-sized 16 kWh pack would cost just $2880. If you could add some other advances such as in-wheel induction motors to eliminate the mechanical drivetrain and increase interior space, the series PHEV would quickly dominate the market.

Account Deleted

Remenber the JStore fraud.
They also claimed they had 3rd party validation from a lab as well as a fortune 500 company. Also why would a Californian company place its prototype cell fabrication unit in China. You need it next door to do experiments and not far away. Forget about it and wake me up only if they have started mass production and have sales to a fortune 500 company.

Davemart

Just about everyone is building battery factories in China, because output is cheaper.
VW for one intends to source all its batteries there.

I can't believe you think that Crane would allow a report to be falsified in their name.
Here is their site:
http://www.navsea.navy.mil/nswc/crane/default.aspx

I believe in proper scepticism, but in my view dismissing this is quite unreasonable.

Davemart

EP:
Plug ins provide a significantly more stressful environment for a battery than a pure BEV.
For instance taking the cycle life at 1000 cycles then for a 40 mile PHEV you are only going to get around 40,000 electric miles.

A 75kwh battery with a range of ~300 miles should get you around 300,000 miles, and at $180kwh you have only paid $13,500 for that, cost per mile 4.5 cents.

For a PHEV some of the other battery chemistries with longer cycle life even if rather more expensive and with lower energy density would seen a better bet.

A Facebook User

Wow, I have been working on Si-C anode for more than 4 years and have never heard someone cycling Si-C with 1600 mAh/g for more than 30 cycles.

Hitachi announced that they already put some Silicon in their anode. however after that no news came out. And no one confirmed if their shipped commercial cells have Si. SONY announced to ship Si-anode cells in early 2012 but their plan was delayed. Those Japanese companies have been working on Lithium-ion cells for more than 20 years. Their work on Si, Sn anode dated back to 2000.

How smart Envia is! Envia is a great company!

A D

Batteries are always less powerful and more costly and problematic then the most basic hydrogen fuelcell setup. It's not this small battery researcher compagny that will change that and even if their sayings are true it will be still suppar to fuelcells. Also the problem of long recharging times remain and there is no decent adapted and normalized fast chargers and there will never be. An hydrogen infrastruture is more simple and realistic.

All these battery bullshit is there because big oil and goverments are subsidising battery brainwash for pr reasons to proteck actual petrol sales and they fear hydrogen the only petrol competition. Battery are no non-sense technology already rejected by consumers. It's just a matter of time that the leaf and tesla and imiev will be taken out of the market cuz they lose tons of money actually.

Anthony F

Even if they had to up-size batteries even more for plug-in (PiP, Volt), the overall cost and weight (and presumably volume) would still be an improvement over 2015 batteries. A Volt could have its battery up-sized to 20kWh, EV range extended to a solid 40 miles, and provide enough power (60kW at 1200W/kg) for standard driving, and then whatever the 10s boost power rate is for acceleration.

EVs stand to benefit far more, as pointed out above.

Darius

For Hybrid or PHEV applications cost per cycle matters therefore it is too early declare game change. For Volt would be necessary to replace battery cells several times. It could be an option.

Zhukova

The main reason for the high storage capacity is Argonne Lab's HCMR cathode(Chlick the "Earlier post" link. They finished developement on this several years ago and have been licensing it to several companies since then. Argonne has a very high reputation in scientific research in many areas and specifically energy storage for EVs. Argonne set up Envia as a partner several years ago too, with support from DOE, CEC, and ARPA-E. Talking about fraud is absurd.

The cathode is the bottleneck in all Li-Ion batteries and Argonne's has the highest capacity. Every since they announced it, I've been hoping that it could be paired with a silicon anode. They started on it a year ago and the current results are expected. 1,000 deep discharge cycles sounds great at $180/kWh. Normal driving would require deep discharging very rarely for most people because they will have 200 mile range or so, drive only 40 miles per day, and keep it charged at night. It would probably last for 2-3,000 partial discharges.

Davemart

Hi Zhukova.
The cycle life should be fine for BEVs. I would be more concerned for PHEVs where the limited all electric range means that deep discharge is approached more regularly.
However the Volt has a larger battery than would otherwise be the case to cope with exactly that, the ~1,000 cycle life to 80% is similar to the LiMn used in the car at the moment, and low cost and high density mean that both space and money considerations mean that if you have to add a few more kwh, then as others have said, that should be perfectly acceptable.

Bob Wallace

Let me suggest that 500km/300 mile range EVs are overkill.

Give people ~300km/180 miles and the ability to recharge 90%+ in less than 20 minutes and EVs will be fully functional for almost all.

The usability threshold, IMO, is around 175 miles. If someone can drive all day - 800km/500 miles - with only two short stops few drivers will view EVs as being range limited.

More range would be sweet, but it would be hard for most people to justify spending several thousand dollars in order to avoid one additional stop during a long day's drive.

These batteries, if they are real, will make for affordable 100 mile range EVs. They're likely to knock gasmobiles off the 'second car' market.

Zhukova

There is a huge market for electrical vehicles that never need 100mile range - rental cars, postal/delivery vehicles/govt vehicles, emergency vehicles, family second cars. These markets are enough to keep auto companies in BEV business, which will reduce costs more and provide incentive for more research.

Obviously the PHEVs would be enhanced with the new battery, but PHEVs are expensive because they have dual drivetrains. Eliminate the fossil fuel drivetrain and you save about $5,000, which can pay for 28 kWh more battery capacity, which is about 110 miles.

A D

@ Bob Wallace.
''Give people ~300km/180 miles and the ability to recharge 90%+ in less than 20 minutes and EVs will be fully functional for almost all. ''

You forgot trucks, airplanes, ships what will happen with these. Let me guess, ahh yes petrol like they do today. Why didn't you have solutions for this problem ?
That's why goverments sponsored by big oil is just talking about batteries, it's because it don't apply for anything except small, overpriced little sh*t box like the leaf with constricted range and everything.

Atul Kapadia

Henrik - Like us, you seem to be skeptical of most battery company claims. Happy to provide you with data that you are looking for - we did post the introduction and conclusion from our testing from Naval Warfare Research Center, Crane report. We like tough questions because they make us better. Making a mass-market electric car with sufficient range is our mission and it's not an easy goal.

philmcneal

apparently envia was just sponsored by GM for a cost of 7 million and have requested liscencing rights if their product goes commercialization.

Engineer-Poet
Plug ins provide a significantly more stressful environment for a battery than a pure BEV.
Quite the opposite; a PHEV can limit the DoD much more easily than a BEV.  Cells which operate within a limited range of DoD usually have greater energy throughput than those which are deep-cycled.

I'd like to throw out a possibility here:  suppose these cells are cheap and light, but have limited cycle and calendar lives.  You wouldn't want to permanently install them in a vehicle.  This would favor the Better Place model, where packs are swapped and old ones are rotated out of mobile service transparently to the customer.

Dilbert Dilbertby

Mr Kapadia,

Thanks for commenting on here. It's great that you want to have a dialogue about your battery.

I'm interested in what kind of C rates your battery can do. If your using these cells in a car and you want to accelerate hard, then what's the maximum you can safely get from the the cell? 3C...5C...10c?

Davemart

EP:
If you do 40 miles a day in a Volt, then you take the battery down to the limit of the BMS every day.
If you have a 200 mile BEV, you are rarely going to get anywhere near the SOC, and if you have your head screwed on most days will only charge to 80% so the battery spends most of its life at ideal charge.

HarveyD

This is one of many improved performance lower cost batteries on the horizon. I still believe that 399-400-500 miles range (with options) BEVs will be available around 2020. By that time cost should be close to $100-$125 Kwh.

kelly

A D, you don't seem to understand that fuel cell cars are so high in the $100,000s that it's embarrassing and still not openly marketed.

Also, you don't have a hydrogen source, rather less national infrastructure and it's the tenth year of the Hydrogen Initiative.

Davemart

Atul:
Great to see you here.
Some of the guys find your terminology of 3/C for power output confusing, and think that you are talking about a 0.3C charge rate.
I have been arguing that from the table shown here the power density at 1200Wh/kg and energy at 400wh/kg shows a 3C charge rate.

Would you please clarify for both charging and discharging, and indicate whether faster charges, at, say 5C are possible?

I am not entirely clear either on how many cycles you think the battery as a whole is good for, as opposed to its elements.
Are you looking at around 1000cycles at 3c down to 80% DOD?

Many thanks.

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