Amprius gets ready for mass market EV batteries

Amprius gets ready for mass market EV batteries
amprius battery cell

Recently Honda, Hyundai and Toyota finally admitted that PHEVs are vehicles with transitional technology. They are more complex, expensive and more prone to failure than simple BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles). Only advantage is range, but even this will soon be gone.

Amprius is a well known battery maker that builds very high energy density batteries for electronic devices, specially Android smartphones. This company is able to produce lithium cells with energy densities as high as 800-1.000 Wh/L and 325-400 Wh/kg. The secret for such high energy density cells is silicon nanowire anodes that only few companies have managed to produce while providing great lifespan (read the phys.org article in the links).

On June 29, Amprius will unveil its manufacturing tool to a select group of industry partners. This new tool for Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing is described as “Revolutionary” and will be able to produce bigger high energy batteries for electric vehicles.

 

Video demonstrating Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing:

 

Steven Chu that is former Secretary of Energy, Nobel Laureate and currently Amprius Board Member said this:

“In recent years, Amprius’ silicon anode technology has enabled batteries with ultra-high energy. This year, Amprius’ new tool is a significant advance towards high-volume and high-quality manufacturing.”

 

But what energy densities as high as 800-1.000 Wh/L and 325-400 Wh/kg mean?

For example it means that it is possible to triple the Renault Zoe’s battery capacity while maintaining the same volume. How cool would it be that the 26 kWh battery was upgraded to 78 kWh? The NEDC range would increase from 240 km to 720 km, or in the real world from 150 km to 450 km. Only a very small minority would still prefer hybrids over BEVs.

But energy density is not all a new manufacturing process has to offer. Contrary to what common sense believes, materials aren’t what make great changes in kWh cost. It’s the manufacturing process. Building a lithium cell is an intense energy and time consuming complex task, specially while we are still using liquid electrolytes. Every time a new manufacturing process reduces time, energy and complexity required to build a battery cell, it also reduces cost. For example, solid state cells can achieve the $50/kWh cost while still using most of today’s materials, because the manufacturing process is much simpler and faster without a liquid electrolyte.

 

Since Nissan and Amprius are partners I wouldn’t be surprised that when Nissan decides that they are serious about EVs they’ll use this battery technology.

As I always say, the technology to make EVs better in every way exists, but often the will to use it does not.

Let’s hope Tesla Model 3 is a success and make traditional automakers finally wake up.

 

 

More info:

http://www.amprius.com/news/news_amprius_20160523.htm

http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/02/f19/QTR%20Ch8%20-%20Roll%20To%20Roll%20Processing%20TA%20Feb-13-2015.pdf

http://phys.org/news/2012-05-nanostructure-batteries.html

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/pdfs/merit_review_2012/energy_storage/es126_stefan_2012_p.pdf

Pedro Lima
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sapcmc
4 years ago

Would be great for that to occur and for third party vendors to provide upgrades to existing BEVs but until that happens it is all vapourware I am afraid.

4 years ago
Reply to  sapcmc

Vaporware is that Graphenano company we talked about 😛

Amprius is a reputable battery maker that actually already makes batteries and even works with NASA and DOE 🙂

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-nasa-advanced-energy-storage.html

sapcmc
4 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

My apologies, the vaporware statement is the likelihood of upgrade offers to BEVs from third parties to be quite low and hardly any examples except from KREISEL ELECTRIC or similar but at prices of almost a brand new vehicle 🙁

So do hope battery manufacturers offer viable upgrade options as for sure there will be a market.

Process should be similar to changing tires in a car as an example.

4 years ago
Reply to  sapcmc

Importing cells from outside the EU is very expensive. When the LG Chem factory starts production in Poland cells will be cheaper for European third-party battery companies like Kreisel Electric. It’s a question of time, just wait 2 years while you enjoy your R240.

sapcmc
4 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Yes, I plan to use it for at least 5-6 years and only then assess to exchange batteries or upgrade car.

Problem with Kreisel and alikes are that they likely won´t be available in Portugal as we are a very small market.

Rafael
4 years ago

Hola Pedro Lima. Tengo una duda Amprius anuncia energia especifica gravimetrica de 325-400wh/kg y volumetrica de 800-1.000wh/l. ¿Esto que quiere decir que comercializaran celdas de 400wh/kg y 1.000wh/l o simplemente son datos orientativos?.

4 years ago
Reply to  Rafael

Hola.

Penso que essa densidade energética apenas existe em laboratório.

A última bateria que vi no mercado foi no ano passado neste telemóvel:

http://www.bluboo.com.cn/x550_d.html

Penso que tem entre 600-700 Wh/L.

Provavelmente já têm melhores em drones e tablets.

Ralf K
4 years ago

[quote]For example it means that it is possible to triple the Renault Zoe’s battery capacity while maintaining the same volume. How cool would it be that the 26 kWh battery was upgraded to 78 kWh? The NEDC range would increase from 240 km to 720 km, or in the real world from 150 km to 450 km.[/quote]

I’ve said it before (with the Kreisel modules) and will say it here again: as long as you do not differentiate at the cell level, module level or battery pack level, I see little plausibility in such speculations.

In the end, energy density is an important aspect, but automotive battery packs need more than that: cycle life and robustness, safety, availability, price, testing for the automotive environment.

A news article such as this one would make much more sense at a point in time when cells for automotive use have been presented by a volume manufacturer. Up until that very moment it has little relevance in the electric car market.