Enovix (earlier post) has been selected to advance research and development on lithium-ion batteries using silicon-based anodes. The selection, recommended by the Vehicle Technologies Office, authorizes Enovix to complete negotiations for a $3.2-million federal award funded through the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). (Earlier post.)
The project is designed to conduct research in advanced batteries and manufacturing in support of DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge—a comprehensive strategy to create and sustain US global leadership in energy storage technology, utilization and exports.
The Enovix project, “Structurally and Electrochemically Stabilized Silicon-rich Anodes for Electric Vehicle (EV) Applications,” proposes to achieve energy density over 350 Wh/kg, greater than 1,000 cycle life and 10-year calendar life with a greater than 95% active silicon anode using a combination of Enovix patented 3D cell architecture and optimized electrolyte chemistry.
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, a global leader in formulated electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a leading research institution accelerating energy-efficient solutions, have agreed to support Enovix with the project.
Mitsubishi will work with Enovix to optimize electrolyte chemistry, and NREL will collaborate and provide silicon-anode modeling with emphasis on chemistry aspects of interface between the electrolyte and silicon anode.
Enovix demonstrated 100% active silicon-anode lithium-ion cells with energy density of more than 900 Wh/l and full-depth of discharge cycle life of more than 500 in 2019. In March 2020, the company announced that it had secured $45 million in new funds to produce and commercialize its 3D Silicon Lithium-ion Battery, and that it had agreements with four category leading customers to develop and produce silicon-anode lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic devices.
The production facility is presently under construction at company headquarters in Fremont, California. Enovix expects to complete construction and begin commercial deliveries to customers in 2021. The company’s business strategy initially targets portable electronics market commercialization, where increased energy density commands a premium price, in order to generate profitable growth while the company focuses on development of its patented silicon-anode cell technology for the electric vehicle market.
Enovix has developed a lithium-ion battery that incorporates a 100% active silicon anode using its patented 3D cell architecture to significantly increase energy density and maintain high cycle life. The company is backed by strategic relationships with Intel, Qualcomm and Cypress and more than $200 million in venture, strategic and private funding. It has been awarded more than 75 patents and has more than 45 applications pending.