Not long ago, Envia Systems' innovative battery looked like it would break barriers. The "High Capacity Manganese Rich (HCMR)" technology was supposed to provide General Motors with an affordable battery that could power the next-generation Chevy Volt and move other, pure EVs at least 200 miles on a single charge. Now, though, the Silicon Valley-based company looks more like the latest cautionary tale for anyone trying to successfully enter the lithium battery and electric vehicle space.
Looking 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