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.
A bit shy of two years ago, battery startup Envia Systems looked quite promising. The Silicon Valley company had produced a 400-watt-hours-per-kilogram lithium ion battery and claimed it could be placed inside an electric car that would cost $20,000 and be able to travel 300 miles on one charge. It was enough to bring in millions of dollars in funding from the US Department of Energy's APRA-E program, the California Energy Commission and General Motors. This all appears to be in trouble now.
Sometimes, you have to go across the border to get the skinny on what's happening in the US. For example, did you know GM might be testing electric cars with batteries that have about three times the energy density of today's EV?
Something interesting happened after A123 Systems filed for bankruptcy last week: the plug-in vehicle industry circled the wagons. AutoblogGreen received press releases and statements from a variety of electric vehicle (EV) players that, when taken as a whole, seem to indicate this particular bankruptcy filing hit a little closer to home than when, say, Think exited stage right. The main message would make Douglas Adams proud: Don't panic. Fisker, for example, gets all of its batteries from A123
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
Hot off the heels of investing $5 million in Powermat, GM has announced a $7-million-dollar investment in battery startup Envia Systems. GM's investment was the largest chunk of a $17 million-dollar round of funding that Envia has secured. This California-based company concentrates its R&D on developing cheaper and more powerful batteries specifically designed for electric vehicles. It has created a new cathode technology that should reduce costs of the batteries while also making them more
Perhaps a flock-like approach to building lithium batteries for vehicles is what it'll take. A new alliance has been formed between the Argonne National Laboratory and 14 US companies to try and "perfect" li-ion batteries for cars, the lab announced this week. The alliance, called The National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, will ask for between $1 and $2 billion from the US government over five years to help with the task. Much has been made of the way that Americ