• 134
envia cellsLooking for signs that the automotive landscape may be changing sooner than most people realize? Here's one. Envia Systems, a start-up battery company that counts General Motors as a significant investor, has announced it has produced a cell with an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg). It also claims they will be priced somewhere in the $125 per kilowatt-hour neighborhood. Put another way, a $20,000 car using these cells could travel 300 miles on a charge. Even if that scenario sounds a bit optimistic, color us impressed. GM must be pleased, too, since when it made its $7-million investment is also concluded a separate licensing deal to use Envia's new technology in future vehicles.

To contrast Envia's numbers with batteries in electric vehicles available today, most lithium cells fall between 100-150 Wh/kg and easily cost double to triple Envia's projected price. Only Tesla Motors – using cells from Panasonic – even comes close to these figures. Its Model S batteries should weigh in at around 240 Wh/kg and, price-wise, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is recently on record as saying he expects to see cost drop below $200 per Wh in the near future.

Envia says its breakthrough comes from pairing a "High Capacity Manganese Rich (HCMR)" cathode with a silicon-carbon nanocomposite anode. The other major battery component, the electrolyte through which the lithium ions pass, has also been altered from what is typically used and allows for a somewhat higher voltage.

Perhaps the best part of this news is the fact that Envia's numbers aren't just based on expectations from early research. In fact, the cells in question have already undergone independent testing by the Electrochemical Power Systems Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and are expected to be commercialized by 2015. The company will make its official announcement of the breakthrough at the ARPA-E conference today. Previously, Envia tested its batteries in a Ford F-150 plug-in hybrid conversion. (UPDATE: It appears this was a different Envia.)
Show full PR text
ENVIA SYSTEMS ACHIEVES WORLD RECORD ENERGY DENSITY FOR RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM-­‐ION BATTERIES
Breakthrough 400 Watt-­‐hour/kilogram Lithium-­‐ion Battery Poised to Revolutionize Cost, Range and Safety in Electric Vehicles

NEWARK, CA – February 27, 2012 – Envia Systems, a technology leader in high-­‐performance, low-­‐cost lithium-­‐ion energy storage solutions today announced test results that verify the company's next-­‐ generation rechargeable battery has achieved the highest recorded energy density of 400 Watt-­‐ hours/kilogram (Wh/kg) for a rechargeable lithium-­‐ion cell. When commercialized, this 400 Wh/kg battery is expected to slash the price of a 300-­‐mile range electric vehicle by cutting the cost of the battery pack by more than 50 percent.

The testing of Envia's next-­‐generation lithium-­‐ion battery was performed by the Electrochemical Power Systems Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Crane, Ind., under the sponsorship of ARPA-­‐E. Tests at various cycling rates at NSWC confirmed that Envia's automotive battery cell demonstrated energy density between 378-­‐418 Wh/kg for rates between C/3 to C/10 for a 45 Amp-­‐hour (C/3) cell. Similar cells have been cycling in Envia's test labs for over 300 cycles. NSWC Crane will also test these cells to validate cycling performance. [See excerpts of the test results here: http://enviasystems.com/announcement.]

"Since the inception of Envia, our product team has worked tirelessly and logged over 25 million test channel hours to optimally develop each of the active components of the battery: Envia's proprietary Si-­‐ C anode, HCMR cathode and EHV electrolyte," said Dr. Sujeet Kumar, Envia Systems co-­‐founder, president & CTO. "Rather than just a proof-­‐of-­‐concept of energy density, I am pleased that our team was successful in actually delivering 400 Wh/kg automotive grade 45 Ah lithium-­‐ion rechargeable cells."

"Envia's new battery technology represents exactly the kind of innovation and breakthroughs that ARPA-­‐E is looking for from the American research and development community," said ARPA-­‐E Director Arun Majumdar. "We hope that this low cost and high density battery technology enables wide spread adoption of electric vehicles across the country and around the world."

"In an industry where energy density tends to increase five percent a year, our achievement of more than doubling state-­‐of-­‐art energy density and lowering cost by half is a giant step towards realizing Envia's mission of mass market affordability of a 300-­‐mile electric vehicle," said Envia Systems Chairman and CEO Atul Kapadia.

About Envia Systems
Envia Systems is the industry leader in high performance, low cost lithium-­‐ion energy storage solutions. Based in Newark, Calif., Envia's patented cathode, anode and electrolyte materials enables its batteries to deliver high energy density, safety and calendar life. These systems are used by manufacturers developing Electric Vehicles and Plug-­‐in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. For more information, please visit www.enviasystems.com.

Envia was awarded grants by both the Advanced Research Projects Agency-­‐Energy (ARPA-­‐E) and the California Energy Commission in 2010 to develop high energy density batteries for electric vehicles. General Motors Ventures LLC participated in an equity investment round of $17 million in 2011

For more information, please visit www.enviasystems.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 134 Comments
      josephdennie
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hopefully this battery technology gets put into electric cars and the sooner the better. A 300 mile charge seems pretty good to me and id love to see it in a ford focus or even a leaf or even perhaps and eletric cruze.. Lithium battery technology seems to be hitting its stride here of late. With gas prices getting higher and higher all the time we need some real solutions and im all for the coming of age of the electric car.
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      For me personally, 300 miles is sort of a magic number that would cover 90% of my driving needs. The occasional longer trip would be an issue, but 300, especially if they do have a quick charge capability (although reading the comments below) would be a magic number. Also, 300 would nicely build in a cushion for heavy duty (ie, towing) driving - obviously wouldn't go as far, but certainly better than trying to tow with a car with an 80 mile range.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        There are many gasoline cars with less than a 300 mile range out there. Honestly, on a long road trip, after putting 300 miles in, you could use a bit of a break anyway. 300 is a good number, but eventually we'll see more hundreds than that.
          EZEE
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Amen, and hallelujah.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      How do they handle quick (DC) charging?
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        I'm betting the fast charge capability is either bad or non-existent as they didn't brag about it. I'm not complaining, still sounds like a great battery on many fronts, but all battery makers "ignore" the places where they are not strong when they do these press releases.
          Dave D
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          Davemart, I keep looking over the Envia site and the links you sent. The best I can tell, they are just putting more words around their energy density (which is great) and totally staying away from any power density discussion whatsoever. But at least they did address the safety stuff and temperature ranges so if they can hit a good note on: 1) cost 2) energy density 3) range for operating temperatures 4) life cycle (good but not great) 5) effective energy density (80% DOD) 6) safety So, if they're a little lite on power density, then we can forgive them and add something else to help "buffer" that area. :-)
          DaveMart
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          Dave D: Check out the GCC link, in the table Power density is 1200Wh/kg, Energy 400Wh/kg, rate 3C I'm not sure where Mike found that, but he is rarely mistaken - a sort of anti-ABG effect! ;-)
          DaveMart
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          More technical information I don't understand here: http://enviasystems.com/innovation/
          DaveMart
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          Dunno whether 'high loading capacity' has anything to do with it: http://enviasystems.com/technology/
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Dave D
          With a battery of this low C rate, requiring a massive size, the power at the plug will be the limitation, not the battery itself.
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds good. Anyone heard from Eestor?
        • 6 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        What's an Eestor? :-) Never mind it's a joke.
        Dave D
        • 6 Months Ago
        @harlanx6
        If that is a sarcastic comment, then I'm giving you a +1. If you're serious....uhhh, I'm not sure what to think :-)
      Penn State EcoCAR 2
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's awesome that a $20,000 car using these cells could travel 300 miles on a single charge. Hopefully General Motors will be able to integrate this technology into its vehicles soon!
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pop my bubble....
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      hmm. Not sure it works then. When I click submit, the response is instantaneous. I even wondered if it was sent it was so quick. Ahhh well. Good it was reported, regardless! :)
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      they could illustrate them like a ghostly smoke. you know, to indicate that it's vaporware we're talking about : ) 2015 is code for 'only a billion dollars away and some luck and you only get 270 but no power, the power version is 230' but no cycle life : ) if they want any credibility sell some sample cells at say 600$/kWh. no fuss webshop. that price should cover very manual production and then some. but they wont do that.
        ufgrat
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Yes, because your opinion is better than independent scientific review. *rolls eyes*
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        It is a shame that you were born without the ability to say anything positive.
        EZEE
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        -21, dude, that might be a record. I didn't down vote but almost want to just to see how low the number can go.... :)
          marcopolo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          @Ezee, -25, which is odd, because of all the crazy and really offencive material DF has posted over the years, this would appear to be pretty tame ....
        Dave D
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Dan, With specs like these, that Billion dollars is nothing. They'll get all the investment they need and then some.
        EZEE
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        I see the -9, but Dan makes a good point. Many times, especially when competing for a government contract, people will inflate the possibilities of a product. One of the things that annoyed me when I was an engineer doing my rocket stuff was, the project planning people would create these huge schedules, with milestone dates. Normally, nothing wrong with that - and as we have discussed with Fisker, the government should get something for their money. That said, the annoying thing was some of the milestone points. I would see something on it and realize that it had never been done before, and essentially, it had to be invented. By a certain date. Sigh. I would go to complain, and they would say, 'well. You can do it.' or 'well sure, but, Boeing is working on this too, so we have to beat them. The people from government had two things going against them. One, they were mildly intelligent, but not greatly so. As a result, when the people said what we could do, they didnt know enough to challenge them. Then, if things didn't go right, they didn't want to admit defeat due to all the money poured into the system. So they would hand out more. I am not saying Dan is right in this case (how could I know), but his summary of how promises can lead to extra money are essentially correct. The ironic thing is, sometimes it went in reverse. We would have something really cool, that worked right now, but funding would get cancelled due to change indirection, or a favor to someone with a different company in his or her district, who traded off a favor for support on another bill. Glad to be in private industry now.... :)
          Joeviocoe
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          I agree... ( I also know all too well). Promises are often inflated. I've been accusing many of the "hydrogen reports" of doing this since so much money is tied up with their perceived success. If everyone stands to make a profit, it will be very hard to find 'experts' who are willing to say that it's not gonna happen. I won't be hypocritical and say that 'emerging battery tech' is immune from the same. I do think that they don't have the Oil company level of money, lobbyists, and influence as the Hydrogen proponents... but the battery industry is growing fast. And this could very well be an inflated vapor project that is another money pit. We'll watch very closely and see.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      OK, so there is more technical info at the posting over at Green Car Congress: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/02/envia-20120227.html Sounds like cycle life might be a trade off, not great. Power density is unclear but that is why God made super capacitors, so no sweat. All in all great news.
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        Huh?? Green Car Congress said that the cycle life is over 1000 cycles @80% DOD. That is really good! That is over 300,000 miles!
          DaveMart
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Check out Atul's posts. He works for them and is answering questions. It seems that they have a sheaf of technologies for different pack sizes: 'We are looking for 150-200K mile life. So for a 50 mile pack, we will look for 3000-4000 cycles and for a 300 mile pack only 600-800 cycles. The number of cycles will determine the DOD and the energy window.'
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Well stated brotherkenny.. :)
          brotherkenny4
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          If you interpret the Green Car congress data correctly you'll see that they are reporting the cycles on the cathode only, probably vs. a lithium anode, so basically a half cell. Cycling on half cells is very different than full cells, in this case a full cell would have the cathode opposite their silicon anode. They don't actually say the cycling data is on full cells. In addition, they use a very slow rate C/10 which is not sufficient for automobile applications. Don't get me wrong here, this is a good result from envia, but it is not something that special. Many people already doing this kind of work could get these same results using these conditions. It's just that you need to make it work under real conditions. When they tell me that in full-cells using both the anode and cathode material at 1C rate with 80% DoD they get 1000 cycles and 10% degredation, I will tell you that they have a major break through. Until then it looks like they are just stirring up PR.
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        And Power Density is given as 1200 Wh/kg or greater... on their website.
      Ian Bruce 伊恩·布鲁斯
      3C? Seems a tad low... but I guess that's the same as what's being used in the Nissan Leaf. Any data on Envia's max 30-sec discharge pulse current? Anyone?
      lasertekk
      • 3 Years Ago
      So, was the independent testing by the Electrochemical Power Systems Department at the Naval Surface Warfare legit and correctly done?
        DaveMart
        • 6 Months Ago
        @lasertekk
        How on earth can you imagine that they are doing fiddled tests? Envia itself is also a spin off from Argonne, which has a certain reputation itself to uphold. Envia may not mention weaknesses etc, but whatever test data the NSW shows is 100% copper bottomed certain within the limits of the sample size and test conditions. It is as good as it gets, period.
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Has anyone else noticed that battery "breakthroughs" come in bunches? Now that Envia has announced, I bet all their potential competitors will feel the need to announce something as well and I suspect we'll see lots of interesting tidbits in the next week or two. :-)
        Joeviocoe
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Dave D
        http://www.energyinnovationsummit.com/showcase/list.html List all .. And see how many companies have showcases for similar technology
    • Load More Comments