A "breakthrough" in Li-Ion batteries in electric cars.

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CheapThrills
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A "breakthrough" in Li-Ion batteries in electric cars.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20051131

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years, the electric vehicle industry has been eager to build a better electric car battery: one that extends range while having a longer overall life, is affordable, quick-charging and safe.

Now Envia Systems, a start-up based in the East Bay city of Newark, plans to announce Monday that it has achieved a critical milestone: a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with an "energy density" of 400 watt-hours per kilogram, the highest energy density known to be recorded.

When commercialized, Envia says the 400 wh/kg battery, with a range of 300 miles and a cost of about $25,000, will slash the price of electric vehicles and make them more affordable for mainstream consumers.

"My dream is to build an automotive supply-chain for the electric car in the United States and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said Envia CEO Atul Kapadia in an e-mail Sunday.

Envia will make its announcement at the ARPA-E Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. Monday. The start-up received a $4 million grant from ARPA-E in December 2009 to develop advanced lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. It went on to raise $17 million in venture capital from General Motors Ventures, Bay Partners, Redpoint and Pangaea Ventures.

"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 in a prepared statement "We hope

that this low cost and high density battery technology enables widespread adoption of electric vehicles across the country and around the world."

 

Batteries are complex systems that convert stored chemical energy into electricity. Researchers say advances often involve trade-offs: improving range may result in skyrocketing costs, or a shorter battery life.

Measured as kilowatt hours per kilogram or liter, "energy density" determines range: The more watt hours, the more miles a car can travel on a single charge. Low-cost, high-energy density batteries are the holy grail. Battery costs are expected to come down due to volume manufacturing, but energy density has been a much harder goal to achieve.

Kapadia said that Envia's hard-working team of engineers developed the technology from scratch. After testing the battery in-house, additional testing was performed by the Electrochemical Power Systems Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indiana. The company is now in discussion with auto manufacturers.

"Rather than just a proof-of-concept of energy density, I am pleased that our team was successful in actually delivering 400 Whkg automotive grade 45 Amp-hour lithium-ion rechargeable cells," said Sujeet Kumar, Envia's co-founder and CTO, in a prepared statement.

The Tesla Roadster, Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt all use some form of lithium-ion chemistry in their batteries. First commercialized by Sony in 1991, lithium-ion batteries are widely used in consumer electronics such as laptops and cell phones but are relatively new in cars. The Bay Area -- home to Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors(TSLA), the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and at least two dozen battery startups -- has emerged as one of the nation's leading hubs of battery innovation.

The basic guts of a battery include a negatively charged anode, a positively charged cathode and the electrolyte. When a battery is fully charged, the lithium ions are concentrated in the anode. As the battery discharges, the ions flow to the cathode and current flows through the electric circuit, releasing energy. Many battery startups are experimenting with battery chemistry; Envia started with the cathode, moved on to the electrolyte and then the anode.

While there's been talk in the industry of moving "beyond lithium" and using new materials, many expect lithium-ion batteries to remain dominant in the coming decades.

"The rumors of the demise of Li-ion batteries were greatly exaggerated," said Kapadia.

2100
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Panasonic 3400s (product 2012 Q1) are 46g and 12.2Wh. So that's 265Wh /kg.    Wow....  Even the slated 4000mAh Panasonic would be of no fight at 311Wh/kg. 

 

RedForest UK
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What proportion of that weight is in the casing of the cell though? I would imagine in larger cells the containment for the actual chemical compound would be a much lower percentage of overall weight.

2100
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Yeah, Panasonic has a Wh/L figure too.

 

asd

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I was reading about the Tesla. It is Motor Trend car of the year in 2013. EPA range estimates of 265 miles on a single charge. You can get as high as 300 miles on one charge. The car uses over 7000 Li-On 18650 batteries in the floor of the car which makes up the battery compartment. 8 year, unlimited mileage warenty on the battery. The car is a large sedan about the size of a Mercedi S class sedan. It seats 5 plus an option for 2 more rear facing seats in the back for kids up to 70 lbs.
Fun part is the car will go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds. You can charge it at home at a rate as high as 62 miles for every hour charging until full capacity is reached in about 5 hours from completly empty.
Tesla is building a network of super charge stations along interstates and plans to have 1500 stations up and running by the end of this year. The super stations recharge at a rate of 150 miles in one half hour and will be built next to rest stops and resturants so you can recharge while taking a break. Charging is free for as long as you own the car. You will be able to drive from coast to coast without paying a penny for fuel. Top end cost is just over $100k.

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But for automotive use, power density is also important. 400Wh/kg is fine, but not if you can only get it out at 5mA. Power density is rather important for electric vehicles.

It sounds like they have that cracked, but hopefully not at the expense of cell life.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

ruffles
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Hmm, Tesla. The only thing I remember about them is that they built a car that would drain its batteries to 0 volts if the car was stored too long. When a few people bricked their $20,000 batteries that way, tesla told them to get stuffed. That kind of customer service speaks volumes. (To be fair, tesla did put a note in the owner’s manual about the issue. Since I don’t own a tesla, I can only guess that it said something like, “… our marketing weasels want to pretend that this car has a lot of range, so our engineers weren’t allowed to put in a $5 circuit to protect your expensive batteries and when you complain, we’ll act as if it’s not our fault.”)


 

Zeus33
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CheapThrills wrote:
When commercialized, Envia says the 400 wh/kg battery, with a range of 300 miles and a cost of about $25,000, will slash the price of electric vehicles and make them more affordable for mainstream consumers.

An oxymoron, no? A $25,000 battery will make cars more affordable? That’s what a Prius cost. How will it “slash” prices? The battery in a Prius cost around $2300.

Interesting tech for sure, but that’s a nonsensical statement.

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The latest Tesla (top pic) may be aimed at the luxury mkt like the Maserati Granturismo/Quattroporte:


“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” – Sydney Carton in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens (1812-1870).

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Thanks for that link. Glad to hear someone domestically is pushing for better EV battery tech. I drive the latest Prius Plug In Hybrid with the 4.4 kWh lithium pack. The way this vehicle manages energy and delivers MPH still amazes me after 20K miles driving it. I think this blend of combustion/electric is the future for consumer commuting. Pure electric has too many hurdles, even at $6-$8 gasoline.

Hopefully Envia Systems are not working in a vacuum. Overall pack weight vs range vs charge time is a tricky equation to master. Plus working temp of the pack itself and the working temp of the inverter during summer driving. Then there’s the 20% loss in pack capacity during winter driving.

My commute is 18 miles round trip w/o charging at the destination. My average MPG is 145.

dchomak
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But this was written a few days later back then.

Envia Systems – when-hype-becomes-deception

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Seems like a mild rebuke, a deceptive graph, but a brief look shows company apparently doing well now.

Still a bit dim

Danglerb
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They aren’t gone. That is pretty good in this economy.

Still a bit dim

dchomak
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They are done, never was able to deliver the battery to GM.

http://qz.com/158373/envia-the-mysterious-story-of-the-battery-startup-t...

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Learned a lot about the underlying chemistry of Lithiums from this article.
But sad truth appears to be that there is no magic bullet in battery technology.

I like the assessment of Tesla as well;

“With his sleek, high-tech Model S, Musk has made electric vehicles a commercial and Wall Street sensation. But he has not revolutionized electrochemistry. Rather, Musk’s cars are powered by thousands of off-the-shelf Panasonic nickel-cobalt-aluminum cylindrical cells—big, heavy and volatile batteries that push the base price of the 200-mile version of the Model S to $71,000. They are a design-and-engineering solution to the problem of making electrics competitive with cheaper gasoline-propelled vehicles. While sexy, their price makes it far from certain that Musk’s approach will lead to large-scale consumer adoption.”

A friend has a Nissan Leaf and that thing can’t even go 50 miles on a charge unless it is pure relatively level turnpike travel.
He just uses it around town, so it suits him, but no way in heck can it be your only car with a family.

Thanks,
Keith

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“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

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dchomak wrote:
They are done, never was able to deliver the battery to GM.

http://qz.com/158373/envia-the-mysterious-story-of-the-battery-startup-t...

So how much did the American taxpayer get soaked for this—yet another—failed green venture??

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Muto wrote:

A friend has a Nissan Leaf and that thing can’t even go 50 miles on a charge unless it is pure relatively level turnpike travel.
He just uses it around town, so it suits him, but no way in heck can it be your only car with a family.

Thanks,
Keith

Sounds like something is bad in his battery packs, that does happen.

Breakthrough in chemistry is nice, but what we are waiting to see are the full effects of competitive mass production reducing the cost.

What seems sort of promising to me are plans like SmartCar where you get a 10 year lease on the battery pack including replacements during the period.

A practical option I think is to go hybrid with a pack good on its own for say 20 to 30 miles, but have lots of quick and easy options for recharging like in parking lots so the fuel based engine rarely needs to be used.

Still a bit dim

Danglerb
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dchomak wrote:
They are done, never was able to deliver the battery to GM.

http://qz.com/158373/envia-the-mysterious-story-of-the-battery-startup-t...

Still alive and feeding happily on government money.

Still a bit dim

dchomak
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The Tesla uses 7000 18650’s. If each battery weighs 46 grams, then just the batteries in the pack would weigh 710lbs. I have seen The 85KWh number used to rate the capacity of the pack. That would be how much you could get on one of the first charge cycles before it was totally depleted. (not something you would really want to do). Each successive charge would degrade somewhat and would be slightly less. Anyway, 1 gallon of gasoline contains about 33KWH of energy and weighs about 6.5 lbs. 85KWH of energy, “stored” as gasoline, would weigh only 16.5 lbs. Of course, 85KWh of electrical energy can be used much more efficiently than the same amount as gasoline, but when the battery pack is fully depleted, it still weighs 710 lbs! As for the 16.5 lbs of gasoline, well it would weigh zero :bigsmile: 710 lbs of dead weight is a lot to push around.

There are a lot of fundamental problems with totally electric cars and it will be awhile yet, I believe, before they become practical.

BTW, from reading the article, it was the rapid degradation of the cells after successive charges that did Envia in.

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This is why I believe hydrogen cars will be the future.

Keychain flashlights FTW!

Danglerb
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dchomak wrote:
BTW, from reading the article, it was the rapid degradation of the cells after successive charges that did Envia in.

Rapid hardly represents the abysmal performance, they did something like 3 cycles in claimed energy density then plummeted to typical levels closer to 50% of claimed capacity. They essentially offered nothing of practical use.

Beats me why people bang their heads so hard trying to make electric behave like gas, instead of exploiting each for what it does best. For a long trip I want not only serious capacity and easy and fast refills, I want a nice comfortable car that holds all the people and stuff I want. For around town I would be willing to use much more basic transportation like the electric SmartCar that is about $15k and goes 68 miles on a charge.

Even better I would like to see two or three electric vehicles parked within easy walking distance that I could reserve via the net and pay via credit card per use.

Still a bit dim

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 http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy41/charlestt225/Sig/A1200023-1.jpg" width="159" he

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charlestt wrote:
and even a racing car Smile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_cRqcbXAs4[/quote]

You can also make less fancy looking electric cars, that goes fast: http://www.wroum.dk/hornet/ (0-100km/h in 1.7 second)

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

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xv-750 wrote:

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089261_collapse-of-battery-startup-...

Nothing new in that article, rehash of the earlier linked.

Currently, Envia is still researching new battery tech, winning a $3m DoE grant and looking into silicon-carbon anode technology.

Still happily feeding at the public trough.

Still a bit dim

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