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Cummins invests in lithium-metal battery company Sion Power, multi-year development agreement

Cummins Inc. has entered into an agreement with Sion Power Corporation (earlier post), a leading developer of high-energy rechargeable battery technology, to design and to supply battery cells based on their proprietary lithium-metal technology for commercial vehicle applications.

Under the agreement, Sion Power will engage in a multi-year development program to design and supply large-format lithium metal battery cells for use in Cummins battery packs. The batteries developed by Cummins will be integrated in its electric powertrains for commercial vehicles.

In connection with the agreement, Cummins has made an investment in Sion Power. The investment provides Cummins a minority stake in Sion Power, allows Sion Power to develop their lithium metal technology further for the commercial vehicle market, and positions both companies for success in the future commercialization of the technology.

Our customers rely on Cummins to provide the most robust electric powertrains in the world. We need battery technologies that will meet the performance and cost expectations for tough, commercial vehicle duty cycles.

—Amy Davis, vice president at Cummins and president of the company’s New Power segment

In August, Sion introduced its 17 Ah Licerion Electric Vehicle (EV) cell, offering more than 400 Wh/kg and 810 Wh/L in a large-format pouch cell. Sion specifically designed Licerion-EV for next-generation electric vehicle applications, focusing on high energy density, increased cycle life, safety, and fast charging capability.

Also, Sion has designed the Licerion High Energy (HE) battery cell to meet the requirements of multiple aerospace applications including HALE/HAPS, rocket motors, un-crewed aerial vehicles, and others. This high-energy, lightweight pouch cell offers 490 Wh/kg and 900 Wh/L with an impressive 5C pulse discharge rate capability.

Sion Power’s high-energy battery chemistry is an important component of Cummins’ roadmap to electrify the company’s commercial vehicle products. Based on Sion Power’s proprietary lithium-metal anode technology and incorporating its patented manufacturing process, the cell provides a robust, long-lasting rechargeable battery for Cummins’ demanding applications.

Sion Power says that it has successfully overcome the issues that dogged historical lithium metal chemistries—e.g., dendrification, resistive by-products—by developing a multi-faceted approach to protecting the lithium metal anode. This includes a liquid electrolyte that stabilizes the anode surface; a chemically stable and ionically conductive ceramic polymer barrier for the anode; and proprietary cell compression and an advanced battery management system.


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