Would you be interested in an electric car that travels 300 miles on a single charge but its battery costs about 70 percent less than today's packs? It's something to look forward to in the next few years, says lithium-ion battery research company CalBattery.

CalBattery has designed a new li-ion battery with a silicon-graphene anode promising a major improvement in battery energy density. The design is based on what the company calls its "GEN3" silicon-graphene composite anode material for li-ion batteries, the technology breakthrough for which was developed at Argonne National Labs. The company entered the li-ion battery cells into the Department of Energy's 2012 Start UP America's Next Top Energy Innovator challenge, and is a finalist in the competition.

Independent test results show that CalBattery's cells have an energy density of 525 watt-hours per kilogram, and anode capacity of 1,250 mili-amp-hours per gram. Compare this to the typical commercial battery out there right now in the 100-180 watt-hours per kg range, and anode capacity in the 325 mili-amp-hours per gram range.

That means 300 percent more energy storage than current batteries, the potential to go 300 percent farther on a charge than current EVs and a huge cost reduction. "This equates to more than a 300 percent improvement in lithium-ion battery capacity, and an estimated 70 percent reduction in lifetime cost for batteries used in consumer electronics, EVs, and grid-scale energy storage," CalBattery CEO Phil Roberts told Torque News.

CalBattery is facing competition from other battery makers to extend EV driving range, quicken charging time and substantially reduce battery costs. In August, General Motors released information on its joint project with Envia Systems to develop battery technology that could mean more affordable EVs in the next two-to-four years with 200-mile driving ranges.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      Levine Levine
      • 2 Years Ago
      I believe it when I see it. Otherwise, it's just another scam played on unsuspecting investors.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ Oktrader, I wouldn't worry about 'Electrons', abrasive comments, unduly. He's prone to loud, conspiracy theory pronouncements, and disparaging remarks, none of which can ever be substantiated. But your comments on a PRC connection intrigued me. So many 'new tech' "Californian Corporations" turn out to be well disguised fronts for PRC corporations, usually those with unsavory reputations and connections. Calbattery lists it's CEO Phillip Roberts as the founder of California Lithium Battery and is the primary inventor of the new CalBattery high-energy silicon graphene based advanced lithium ion battery. Phil has more than 25 years successful management experience in major corporations and small private businesses as a successful and recognized inventor and cleantech entrepreneur focusing in the cleantech field, helping establish advanced technology businesses based on transformational technologies.CalBattery recently entered into an option for an exclusive license from ANL for the CVD process for Large Format battery applications. California Lithium Battery (CalBattery) Inc. was established in 2011 as a California corporation to develop and manufacture in the US the most technologically advanced and affordable lithium battery for grid-scale energy storage, heavy-duty EV transportation, and consumer electronics. CalBattery was named a finalist in the 2012 DOEs Americas Next Top Energy Innovator challenge. For more information contact: Phil Roberts, 562-243-1800, phil.roberts@ CLBattery.com That all looks great, and as Yankee as Mark Twain ! However, California Lithium Battery (“CALBattery”)inc is a joint venture between California-based Ionex Energy Storage Systems and CALiB Power. Ionex Energy Storage Systems list Phil Roberts and Dan Vogel as it directors, Ionex also lists a manufacturing plant in Northern China. CALib Power, listed directors are Jeff Liu and Wei Cui. These gentlemen, would appear to be connected to the company behind Thundersky batteries. What this all means, I have no idea ! In fairness to Phil Roberts, anyone who's that interested, can give him a call, or email .
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "California Lithium Battery (“CALBattery”)inc is a joint venture between California-based Ionex Energy Storage Systems and CALiB Power" Where did you find this? I am aware of the Chinese manufacturing location for Ionex... but where does it say that CALiB power or Thundersky is that location?
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Thanks Marco. I have been posting and asking for a simple link or direct quote about the correlation between CLBattery and CALiB. http://www.doe.gov/americas-next-top-energy-innovator/california-lithium-battery-inc
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          @ Joeviocoe, Neither oktrader, nor I, are prone to posting assertions without a factual basis ! The interpretation of those facts is always open to debate, and indeed I often post the result of such research simply to attract other viewpoints, (especially from knowledgeable readers like LTW, Dave Mart and so many others who contribute to ABG) The reference you requested is from Energy,gov , and states in full : [quote]California Lithium Battery (“CALBattery”) is a start-up California company established in 2011 to develop and manufacture a breakthrough high energy density and long cycle life lithium battery for utility energy storage, transportation, and defense industries. The company is a joint venture between California-based Ionex Energy Storage Systems and CALiB Power. US production of this advanced Very Large Format (400Ah+) si-graphene LI-ion battery is scheduled to start in California in 2014. Plans are to produce the initial batteries for CALBattery JV partner Ionex Energy Storage Systems for use in 1-100MW grid scale energy storage applications essential for wide-scale renewable energy integration in California and throughout the world.[/quote]. CALiB, is a subsidiary of China Aviation Lithium Battery Co., Ltd. (CALB). CALB, is ostensibly owned by the PRC government. However, 'ownership' is often more murky than simply a nationalized enterprise. CALB has it's fair share of CCP and PLA, connections that it would rather not reveal. Instead it's the policy of such corporations to hide behind a web of corporate 'greenwashing' to create a more benign and even US image. None of this, may have any sinister implications. Phil Roberts and Dan Vogel, would quite rightly point out that doing business with the PRC corporations is not illegal, and devising a smokescreen to conceal the connection is simply to overcome US prejudice. There is no evidence to suggest that Phil Roberts is anything other that he claims, an ethical, forward thinking entrepreneur. Others may say that it's all part of a long PRC government program to undermine US business, acquire US technology, and further destroy US competitiveness. These front companies are funded by organizations stained with human rights violations, and appalling environmental records. Such accusations may sound far-fetched, but there is considerable evidence to substantiate these claims and worse. Of even greater concern is that these PRC covert operations are partly funded by the unsuspecting US taxpayer ! Who knows ?
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        http://en.calb.cn/comm/?id-152.html It would seem that CLBattery (the company mentioned in this article) would be listed on this page of CalB partners... if CalB were actually partners with either Ionex or CLBattery... it probably would be listed, as they have listed GM, Volkswagen AMP motors, etc. Just seems like people are trying to draw connections. I don't see proof other than the fact that the CEO of the company in this article, is also the CEO of a company that has had a joint venture with Thundersky of China. The only mention of CALiB... has been from Oktrader.
      • 2 Years Ago
      "525 watt-hours per kilogram, and anode capacity of 1,250 mili-amp-hours per gram." these claims are fraud!
        Chris M
        • 2 Years Ago
        And your evidence for that is? (cue crickets) Right now we just have an announcement. The real "put up or shut up" time comes later, when they have battery samples available for independent testing, or better, batteries available for sale.
      • 2 Years Ago
      We've seen this so many times before, fledgling startup claims big li-ion breakthrough, never makes it to mass production. Anyone remember the technology A123 were originally going to be bringing to market?
        Mark Schaffer
        • 2 Years Ago
        It only takes one success to change the world for the better. Who are you rooting for? Fossil fuel companies busy polluting our common atmosphere or the future we need?
      oktrader
      • 2 Years Ago
      Jon: I genuinely do not mean to sound like my usual cranky self. I understand that you are probably a very busy free-lancer (as I have been as well, BTW, so that's not an insult) who cannot pore over every presser that comes along. But the time has come for all of us to demand more scrutiny into these spurious releases. CALiB Power is basically a US sales office for the China Aviation Lithium Battery Company, who is amongst the phalanx of prismatic cell LiFePO manufacturers seeking markets to feed the People's huge, underutilized factories. Nothing wrong with that, but let's not get all excited about their capabilties as a cutting-edge technology house. Likewise, Ionex is another Chinese-based enterprise: an energy storage house seeking some seed projects for storage subsystems; their project portfolio (based around wind projects) is basically nil. Again, all the best to them for hunting down work, but there are probably dozens of good engineering firms who could do what they do. How these two essentially Chinese companies have "been working with Argonne National Laboratory to rapidly develop, commercialize and produce in the US a breakthrough low cost silicon graphene composite anode material" is left to the interested student. In any case, save for the ANL cachet, I see no reason for anyone to get excited. Indeed, I'd advise a hand discreetly placed over the wallet in any conversations with these gents.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oktrader
        Ionex maintains corporate offices in Long Beach, CA, a design center in Austin, Texas, sales offices in Philadelphia, PA and manufacturing in Houston, Texas and Northern, China. So out of 5 locations.... one of them, a manufacturing location in China... makes them a "Chinese-based enterprise"???? That is the only connection I have found with China. The CEO of CLBattery (a small startup) is also CEO of IONEX Energy Storage Systems, which has manufacturing locations in both Houston and China. Sorry, but your case sounds weak.
          oktrader
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          joe, your google-fu skills are weak, my son. Check this article in the Austin American Statesman from 18 June 2010 about the arrival of Ionex: http://www.statesman.com/news/technology/chinese-us-joint-venture-scouting-austin-for-possi/nRthy/ "Ionex Advanced Energy Storage Systems, which is a joint venture involving China's ThunderSky Energy Group, met with City of Austin and state economic development officials and toured several potential plant sites for what it described as a $200 million project that would generate about 700 jobs in its first phase. The U.S. partner in Ionex is Rare Earth Inc." [BTW, on the Ionex "About" page, you didn't quite read the whole sentence: "manufacturing in Houston, Texas and Northern, China." Northern, China? Translation problem, anyone?] As for CALiB, you don't even need the services of Larry and Sergey. If you go to the CALiB page, and look at the link bar. Just under "Message Board", you will see a teeny link with the word "calb". This takes you directly, nonstop, to www.cali-battery.cn. There's some funky writing right there on the top... BTW, for the very suspicious, "China Aviation Lithium Battery., Ltd (CALB) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Airborne Missile Academy (CAMA)." Ooops... now, about that Argonne thing...
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Yes, okay, patronizing aside.... Ionex has a joint venture in China. But that does NOT make Ionex, "Chinese-BASED enterprise" as you put it. And although both Ionex and CLBattery have the same CEO.... they are separate companies. And you keep bringing up CALiB.... as if the similarity in name is enough to convict them of being related to CLBattery. But you still haven't shown anything to that effect. The suspicion is only for people who see connections in coincidental arrangements in letters. Glen Beck types.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oktrader
        Why should anyone believe what something calling itself "oktrader" writes?
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Mark Schaffer
          Mark Schaffer Because he is well researched, doesn't indulge in silly conspiracy theories, and doesn't require you to 'believe', him, simply check out his reasoning ! I don't always agree with OK trader, but his sources of reference are usually reliable and he doesn't involve himself with petty prejudice, abuse, or silly conspiracy theories.
        Electron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oktrader
        I wonder what Chinese CALiB Power has to do with anything if this article is about Calbattery, which according to Greencarcongress is a Californian start up that entered into a Work for Others (WFO) program with (reputable)Argonne National Laboratory to commercialize an advanced Li-ion battery. Seems that "oktrader" is spouting nonsense here in his usual efforts to spread FUD about the chances of EV related initiatives.
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          Hmmm, further research indicates there is a chinese connection here, guess oktrader may have a point after all... too bad.
          oktrader
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          Thanks for the acknowledgment, Electron. Really, the CALiB product is a PRC-manufactured cell. That DOES NOT make it evil. In my corporate days, I sourced plenty of products in China, and also established a branch in Tianjin with WOFE and all the trimmings. It's just that the California office takes great pains to paper over the fact of their parentage. As for FUD: please. I'd wager a substantial sum that I have more EVs than pretty much any regular poster here (except for 2WM). I lease a Volt and own 2 electric bikes. I am building two more to give my daughters for Christmas. Don't question my bona fides as an electric aficion. But of all people who doubt the latest battery hype, you should above all believe Elon Musk. And I quote verbatim: "There are few industries with more BS than the battery industry. It's quite remarkable."
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          What info have you found? I am looking, and all I see is a separate company, completely. The only thing in common is they both have offices in the LA area. But 30 miles apart. Keegan Han, is the sales manager for CALiB but, Phil Roberts is the sales manager for CLBattery
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          @oktrader: as for the claims about yourself: there are more posters like you who appear to have agenda's that use a strategy of making grandiose claims about themselves to establish themselves as experts but all those claims made safely in the anonymity of cyberspace mean nothing to me. Often it's all to apparent it's all just lies. You sound a lot like "Marcopolo" BTW, and I have no way of knowing you aren't in fact the same person. So whatever... Having said that: the combination claims of major battery breakthroughs and involvement of Chinese companies make my BS-meter go even further in the red. Guess even poor Warren Buffett knows a thing or to about that by now.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Electron
          I still haven't heard anything that actually shows that the company in this article is in ANYWAY related to CALiB.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @oktrader
        http://www.clbattery.com/#!about not http://www.calibpower.com/About.aspx I don't see any relationship with China at clbattery.com
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Sorry, CEO Phil Roberts. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/3/prweb9280084.htm
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          http://goo.gl/maps/xWyCs for CLBattery http://goo.gl/UpQmE for CALiB
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I am still not seeing anything that links CLbattery.com with CALiB. Electron,... what research? Link please. These appear to be TWO SEPARATE companies. Yes, CALiB is tied to chinese manufacturers. But I don't see any connection with CLBattery (CalBattery). Both companies have offices in the LA area... but are 30 miles apart. http://goo.gl/UpQmE
          oktrader
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Unfortunately, you can no llonger access or print their test reports or quality certs, but if you look VERY closely you can see the main titles are in Chinese. Trust me on this one. If you've go the time, look through the diyelectriccar links and you'll see more data. The Saturn conversion project at http://saturn.lynnautorepair.com/node/406 detailes more about CALiB roots.
      brotherkenny4
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would rather have a 100 mile EV with a cheaper lighter battery. I know range anxiety is a creation to manipulate the technochondriac nation. The graphene (graphene not being the same as graphite)/silicon anodes do work, so some of this release is correct. The question is, when they combine this anode with a commercial cathode and make their 525 Whr/Kg cell, do they get thousands of cycles without significant decay and a current capability that is amenable to vehicle applications? It really doesn't say does it?
        Ashton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        100 mile range, screw that. I want a 30k good looking electric 4x4 truck that gets 500 miles on a charge!
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ashton
          And I want a flying car. I guess we both live in the far future.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good luck.. Everything involving graphite and silicon has been absolute vaporware so far.
      • 2 Years Ago
      To set the record straight California Lithium Battery is a spin out from Ionex Energy Storage Systems which I co-founded in 2011 to commercialize a new silicon-graphene composite material being developed by Dr. Junbing Yang (a brilliant Chinese scientist) working for Argonne National Laboratory to lower the cost of the lithium batteries, in our case primarily for grid scale energy storage applications. Ionex is owned by 5 red blooded Native American businessmen and has no affiliation with any Chinese or foreign entity. The JV partner in CalBattery is CALiB Power, owned by an American citizen, Mr. Wei Cui an aeronautical engineer who graduated from the University of Washington. CALiB Power is the sole US distributor for CALB lithium batteries, which we (Ionex) choose as the best quality and value in lithium batteries for our grid scale energy storage systems we are currently developing along with other advanced energy storage and smart grid technologies. The CalBattery business plan as stated on our public website (www.clbattery.com) is to further develop and sell a si-graphene anode material made here in the US to any battery or EV OEM to use with their own cathode/electrolyte combination. Since it takes 3-7 years to commercialize a Li-ion battery for EV applications we decided it would be more practical to make a single material and let established battery manufacturers develop their own full cells. The full data we have accumulated over the past year came from testing conducted at Argonne and a California material development company. The half cell data on the si-graphene anode material form all tests show between 1,000-1,300 mAh/g specific anode capacity. Full cell testing using multiple cathode/electrolyte combinations showed an energy density between 425-525 Wh/kg. The estimated 70% reduction in battery cost came from DOE 2009 estimates and published literature by calculating the benefits of combining what they identify as GEN1 vs. GEN3 battery chemistry. The GEN1 (previous Chevy volt) EV battery pack i.e. Graphite/LiMn2O4+LiNiMnCo Oxide (300 cells) was identified as $10,000 and the GEN3 battery pack ie. Nano-Silicon/xLi2MnO3+ (1-x) LiMO2 (100 cells) (the same materials used in our Argonne full cell testing) is estimated to cost $3,000. To date all development funding has come from our own limited personal resources because we believe that this anode technology holds significant potential in lowering the cost of lithium batteries. Currently we are working to scale up the equipment to produce the si-graphene material in larger quantities to produce sample material to let the 20+ major companies we have NDAs with test material and see if they find it suitable for their own battery application. So in conclusion, we are a 100% American owned company, trying to produce this advanced material here in the US for sale to domestic and foreign battery and EV OEMs. Feel free to call me with any questions, Phil Roberts, CEO (562) 243 1800
      • 2 Years Ago
      THis is a scam. The capacity of Li ion batteries in limited by the cathode (NCM or LFP) not by the anode (such as Si-C discussed there). Even metallic Li can not increase the battery charge by 300 %. This number refers to the increase in the anode capacity only, not the whole battery. The total battery capacity increases merely by 30% at the cost of a reduced cycle life. Li-Si alloys pulverize upon cycling. They do not work in batteries despite the large gravimetric capacity than graphite
      • 2 Years Ago
      When these are going to be available for purchase ?
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