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Sion Power to begin production of Licerion Li-metal anode batteries late this year

Sion Power will begin production of its patented Licerion rechargeable lithium metal battery in late 2018 from its Tucson facility. The Licerion rechargeable lithium metal technology will offer the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and electric vehicle (EV) markets 500 Wh/kg, 1,000 Wh/L, and 450 cycles when released.

Licerion technology, a product of Sion Power’s technical collaboration with BASF (earlier post), covers a wide range of chemistries designed to perform with sulfur-based and lithium ion-based cathodes. All Licerion products incorporate Sion Power’s protected lithium metal anodes (PLA), unique electrolyte formulations and engineered cathodes.

Individual Licerion cells, with dimensions of 10 cm x 10 cm x 1 cm, have a capacity of 20 Ah and offer the highest combination of energy density and specific energy available. At the core of Licerion technology is a protected metallic lithium thin film anode with multiple levels of physical and chemical protection to enhance the safety and life of lithium metal anodes. These anodes are paired with traditional lithium-ion intercalation cathodes.

Source: Sion Power. Click to enlarge.

Constructed of thin, chemically stable ceramic barriers, Licerion reduces parasitic side reactions, minimizing weight and maximizing energy, cycle life, and safety. Sion says that the Licerion technology doubles the energy density of cells with current mass-market cathodes such as LFP and NMC. It is also applicable to existing cell assembly manufacturing processes.

Over the last decade Sion Power, and our research partner BASF, have strategically focused on meticulous research and development of a next generation lithium battery. The result of our team’s efforts will be seen in a safe lithium metal battery that is in a class by itself. We are on track to deliver product to a select group of partners by the end of 2018.

—Tracy Kelley, CEO of Sion Power


Patrick Free

Interesting to the least.... Look forwards to see this in a Long Range EV. Number of cycles looks shy with maxi 1000, unless this is at cell level and at pack level it could support more full charge/discharge cycles. So with one charge per day it could at least sustain, on the smaller battery packs, Tesla 8 years unlimited range battery warranty (Requiring # 3000 cycles in such extreme case). But I agree the larger the battery pack the least cycles will be used, so they could balance this limiting the usage to very large lon range EV battery packs if needed. For ex, in my use-case of typical 65km/day in Paris/France, moving tomorrow to a Tesla Model X v2 sharing future Roadster2 - 200kWh battery pack in say 2021, would allow me to charge no more than once per week, versus once every 4 to 5 days with my beloved Model X 100D today, means to one charge every week-end, while resting at home, on an easy to install and grid-friendly 7kW / 220V-32Amps charger. So this would require only 364 full charge/discharge cycles in 8Y in that case, round it to 400 cycles including all my longer vacations and week-end trips. So that could fit with their claimed 1000 cycles...
Moving forwards key point will then be how this battery can sustain ULTRA-FAST charging or not. Say typical to-be Porsche 350kW/800V chargers, or next Gen Tesla Truck MegaChargers with modular up to 4 x 320kW to 4 x 400kW, across 4 pairs of very thick DC pins. Here again the larger the battery the easier it will be to sustain these extreme charging rates. Say same for current 100kWh pacs tapped at 1.2C by Tesla (100kWh pacs can charge at 120kW maxi), a new 200kWh pack made with these batteries would allow 240kW with exact same wearing on same techno. Hence Porsche 350kW charging would require to push only to 1.75C at 800V. Not necessarely a big deal .. ? Or if that future 200kWh EV could charge using 2 x future Tesla MegaCharger pairs of DC pins out of the 4 used by the new Tesla Semi truck, it would only require batteries to support 3.2C to 4C.... Which may start to be challenging if you also want to maintain Tesla 8 Years battery warranty with unlimited milleage. But may be not impossible with a new battery techno. Except here I just noticed they don't quote the number of Cs for these cycles, .... which may be worrying ? In any case we'll soon find out if any to-be long range EV vendor selects them ....


These higher performance batteries will eventually make TESLA Roadsters 200 kWh packs a strong possibility for other all weather extended range BEVs?

Charging facilities will have to evolve (from 350-400 KW to 800-1000 KW and more) for ultra quick (under 10 minutes) charges. It is chalenge but it will be done.

Future all weather extended range BEVs, with up to 1000 Km range, may not have to be recharged more than every 10-15 days or so.


450 cycles limits the applications, but good progress none the less.


500Wh/Kg and a 10 A cell in a 4 inch square for a cell going into production; This is the kind of progress we who have been have hoping for. The first Lithium cells from the 2011 Nissan Leaf are spec'd at 141 Wh/Kg and are good for about a 70 miles range. As discussed above, improving the cycle numbers is desirable; and, I think that will come in time. Not much to hold back EVs at this point except prices.

Elon Musk is quoted as saying a density of 400Wh/Kg were necessary for aircraft usage. Perhaps aircraft are next on Tesla's list.


450 cycles isn't is good as the rest of the specs, but a 300 mile battery at 450 cycles is good for 135,000 miles. Not perfect, but 10 years down the road when you have to replace it...the replacement will be quite a bit better and cheaper.



Lots of projections about reduced battery prices, they are along the curve after 20 years, there is no magic here.


No magic - it's not the magic kingdom- but you can see it from here.


So if their 20 Ah cell measures 10cm x 10cm x 1cm then 10 such cells would have a litre volume and should have 1 kWh energy capacity ?

That would then suggest a nominal voltage of 5v if they are indeed 20Ah. Is that typical with lithium metal anodes ?


Batteries have to have some expected use of 200,000 miles, same with fuel cells or any other emissions reducing device particularly in CARB states. While cycles might not matter if the pack is large enough, it would matter in smaller applications.

Needless to say, as long as there is reasonable utility at those high miles it would fall under the scope of the warranty.

Another issue I see, is that car makers are not in a habit of supporting older models, typically they stop support just after 8 years of the stop of production or sooner in lower volume models.

Battery packs, now a days are very unique. I mean, they are modular, but they are built to a specific model of car. Who is to say they are to support the electric car in the future with a different battery than what was given in the first place?

I have helped to test and replace bad cells in a hybrid battery, but those were about 16 stacks of cells that looked like D batteries shrink wrapped together. I can't imagine the labor involved in A: designing and selling a new "safe / warrantable" pack from the OEM, or B: the aftermarket to repair such large packs.

Hopefully battery management has much improved since then, it took a $500 charger, and about 5-10 charges on each cell in the underperforming pack, and the lot of batteries purchased to replaces those cells. Basically you charge and measure the discharge over several cycles to determine which cells are healthy and match the rest of the pack.

Odds are these current EVs and the next generation are dead in the water when it comes to battery improvements over time. Tesla, is probably the only exception to this, they use a fairly large and similar sled layout across its models.

Other makes take the battery and shoehorn it in somewhere.

As long as its considered an emissions device, to tamper or alter its function, even by making it better, could prove illegal in a court of law. So, the quick response from the aftermarket would be: "Off-road use only"

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