Enevate silicon-dominant anode battery to arrive next year

Enevate silicon-dominant anode battery technology
Enevate silicon-dominant anode battery technology

Enevate wants to enable electric vehicles to charge as fast as refueling gas cars and is now closer to make it happen.

This Californian company just announced a new production license agreement with the South Korean battery cell maker EnerTech International to commercialize Enevate’s silicon-dominant anode battery technology.

Commercialization is scheduled for 2022 and pre-production batteries have already been built and tested by Enertech’s existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing equipment.

 

IRVINE, Calif. – June 08, 2021 – Enevate, a pioneering battery innovation company featuring extreme fast charge and high energy density battery technologies for electric vehicles (EVs) and other markets, announced a new production license agreement with EnerTech International to commercialize Enevate’s silicon-dominant, XFC-EnergyTM battery technology in the transportation, mobility and reserve power markets. Silicon Battery Commercialization Scheduled for 2022.

South Korea-based Enertech International is a leader in delivering lithium-ion cells and uses state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to produce large format batteries in high demand by rapidly growing markets.

This production license agreement with Enertech is the next milestone in Enevate’s technology roadmap with commercialization scheduled for 2022. Pre-production batteries have been built and tested using Enertech’s existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing equipment. With the agreement, Enevate will deliver enabling technology to accelerate Enertech’s market expansion and triple its manufacturing capacity output.

Enevate’s next-gen lithium-ion battery technology delivers up to 10 times faster charging than conventional lithium-ion batteries with high energy densities along with a host of other benefits, including improved safety and low-temperature operation for cold climates. With its Extreme Fast Charge capability, Enevate technology allows for a battery to charge in as fast as five minutes.

Enevate develops and licenses advanced silicon-dominant Li-ion battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs), with a vision of EVs charging as fast as refueling gas cars, accessible and affordable to everyone, and accelerating EVs’ mass adoption. With a portfolio of more than 350 patents issued and in process, Enevate’s pioneering advancements in silicon-dominant anodes and cells have resulted in battery technology that features five-minute extreme fast charging with high energy density, low temperature operation for cold climates, low cost and safety advantages over conventional batteries.

Enevate’s vision is to develop and propagate EV battery technology that contributes to a clean and sustainable environment. The Irvine, California-based company’s other investors include Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi (Alliance Ventures), LG Chem, Samsung Venture Investment Corp, Mission Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tsing Capital, Infinite Potential Technologies, Presidio Ventures – a Sumitomo Corporation company, Lenovo, CEC Capital and Bangchak. Enevate®, the Enevate logo, XFC-Energy™, HD-Energy®, and eBoost® are registered trademarks of Enevate Corporation.

 

Enevate silicon-dominant anode battery charging chart

Enevate silicon-dominant anode battery charging chart

 

Enevate uses an innovative, multi-layer design that allows us to safely pack more energy into a single cell, because our XFC-EnergyTM silicon-dominant anode layer requires a fraction of the space of a graphite anode layer used in a conventional cell. In fact, large-format EV size cells achieve over 1000 Wh/L and 350 Wh/kg energy density.

 

Pain Points for EV Adoption:

  • Long, inconvenient charging time
  • Driving distance and range anxiety
  • Price premium over gas cars
  • Low-temp performance
  • Safety

Enevate Delivers:

  • 10X faster charging; 5-minute Extreme Fast Charge
  • 30% more EV range, higher energy density
  • Enables lower cost and affordable EVs
  • >100% better low temperature performance
  • Safer battery with no lithium plating

 

 

 

Anyway, I doubt that the small South Korean company EnerTech International will mass produce this battery technology. I think that Enevate will use EnerTech’s equipment to produce multiple sample units and prove that the technology is ready for mass production, then LG Chem – that is also an investor of Enevate – should step up and get the license to mass produce it.

 

Now let’s forget Enevate for a moment and talk about silicon anodes in general and their importance in EV batteries.

 

Batteries with silicon anodes are revolutionary, especially when we consider that this battery technology can also be applied to cobalt-free batteries, such as LFP (LiFePO4). This was already demonstrated by Guoxuan early this year.

 

The possibility of charging 75 % of an EV battery in 5 minutes with a C-rate of 10 C is really impressive. Extremely fast charging is essential to make electric vehicles mainstream, since it allows them to have smaller and lighter batteries, yet still remain useful in everyday life.

Considering the examples below, which hypothetical electric car would you prefer? A or B?

 

Electric car A

  • Range: 300 km (WLTP)
  • Battery capacity: 40 kWh
  • Consumption: 14 kWh/100 km (charging losses included)
  • Weight: 1.200 kg
  • Fast charging: 75 % in 5 minutes
  • Price: 15.000 euros

 

Electric car B

  • Range: 550 km (WLTP)
  • Battery capacity: 80 kWh
  • Consumption: 16 kWh/100 km (charging losses included)
  • Weight: 1.450 kg
  • Fast charging: 80 % in 30 minutes
  • Price: 22.000 euros

 

I know I would prefer the cheaper and more efficient option A. Lower weight also means faster acceleration and shorter stopping distance, improving safety.

 

I really dislike when automakers complain that EV batteries are expensive but then show us that they don’t care about getting the most from their batteries. Their solution to increase the range of their electric cars is almost always to add more battery capacity, instead of improving efficiency first (just look at Volvo electric cars…).

Before thinking to introduce heavy 100 kWh batteries in electric cars, we should have more efficient electric cars that also charge faster. Adding more battery capacity to get more range should always be the last resort, especially if we believe automakers’ narrative that batteries are extremely expensive… (You know I don’t!)

 

Finally, it’s becoming obvious that the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) age is near the end. Technologies such as CTP (cell-to-pack), cobalt-free (or low-cobalt content) cathodes and silicon anodes make electric vehicles better than their gas counterparts in every single way.

Moreover, while ICE vehicles have already maxed out their potential, the potential of electric vehicles to become even better is enormous. Solar roofs, V2G (vehicle to grid) and V2L (vehicle to load) are some technologies that’ll soon become standard in EVs. How cool is that you will be able to use your electric car as a mobile power bank that can be charged with solar energy?

 

Some examples where large mobile power banks can be useful…

  • Vacation house in a remote area without access to the electrical grid
  • Construction work in remote communities
  • Farmers’ market
  • Music festivals
  • Camping
  • Emergencies during a power outage
  • Charging other EV

 

I’m sure that you can think in a lot more uses for a big mobile power bank…

Honestly, when I look to current mainstream EVs I tend to think they are still a bit primitive, considering their true potential. They could already be so much better…

 

Thanks for the heads up Rok.

 

 

More info:

https://www.enevate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ENEVATE-Enertech-p.r.-FINAL-Jun-8-2021.pdf

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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Frederico Matias
5 days ago

Hummm…that’s tricky…

I would probably choose the 80kwh just due to poor charging infrastructure… for me to choose the 40kwh , you must have charging stations (with 4-10 stalls) in every service area (usually around 40 kms in each motorway) as well as cities and villages… and prices that are not scandalous (like ,80 EUR/kwh for Ionity)

Mike/Liverpool
5 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

THe “Old” car producers are heavy invested in their ICE tec, they assumed that they get 25 years out of new engine or gearbox. I notice lots of (very cheap) lease deals on everything up to BIG BMW’s…………..they trying to “Cash out” quickly.

If this pans out then i think its going to KILL H2 fuel cell cars……i mean i saw a bloke in Norway weight his model 3 performance & it came in at 1900 kgs. If we can get Solid State (450+ Wh/KGs) then we can take 220 kgs off the weight….at aould 1650 kgs we at normal ICE car weights with VASTLY better weight balance & low C of G.

Derek
5 days ago

Am I the only one who likes Pedro’s comments more than the actual press releases?

Mike/Liverpool
4 days ago
Reply to  Derek

He one the money 🙂

Maximilian Holland
4 days ago

Great to see more progress being made in battery evolution.
2 or 3 important cases for improving fast charging:

A) To convert urban drivers who don’\t have a plug at home or work – 5 mins refill for an average weekly commute distance (around 30km * 5), no different to an ICE refill.

B) Regaining 2+ hours of highway driving (~250 km) between rest/refill breaks of around 10-15 min

{C) taxis and others with high duty cycle}

Many BEVs are now getting very close to 12-15 mins to regain 70% charge, and to accomodate the above scenarios (Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Teslas, EQS, several others). I think there is not very much utility in going much beyond 12 minutes, and cold weather performance, improved DC charging reliability/convenience is more important right now.

For urban dwellers who don’t take long journeys, I agree that 300 km is adequate. But for many Europeans, an occasional long journey is a requirement of their only vehicle, and 250-300 km on winter highway might require 350-400 km WLTP to be realistic. I agree that much beyond 400 (and certainly beyond 500) is unnecessary in Europe and Asia. Really depends on real winter highway range, the toughest use case. Fortunately with better cells, heat pumps, better heat management, winter performance is constantly getting better.

Marcel
4 days ago

I agree Max. These points apply For most canadian drivers too, especially due to meager chArging infrastructure and long winters. The 77kwh ID.4 for example would probably only get around 180km on the highway in the winter from 80%-10% battery. Yes that’s the toughest case, but I suspect a lot of Canadians will consider it if they want to get to their cottage or travel to a nearby city to visit family, etc.

Stephane Cnockaert
4 days ago

A “10.0 C” charging rate doesn’t mean “charging 10 times faster than the competition”.
A “10.0 C” charging rate means that the battery doesn’t self destruct in case you recharge it so brutally, that you transform it from empty to full, in one tenth of hour (this is 6 minutes). Moreover, in case of brutally recharging, it is advised to charge from 10% to 90%. This takes 80% of 6 minute = approx 5 minutes.
Speaking of competition, the allowed charging rate Is “2.0 C” or possibly “2.5 C” in case there is a tight cells temperature management. This means that the battery can get charged from à 10% to 90% state of charge in 80% of 24 minutes = approx. 19 minutes.
As you can see, 5 minutes in not one tenth of 19 minutes.
Would you please redo your article, Pedro.
Have a nice day.

Marcel
4 days ago

Wow, more really exciting battery news. This battery production learning curve is going to kill ICE cars. I hope sooner rather than later.

Jonas Jovial
3 days ago

Battery that charge very fast are good and bad. Just think on the power requirements for a a charging station with 10 bays that needs to charge cars with for example 50kWh battery. Each charger must provide 500kW. With 10 cars, the power requirements are 5MW. If you think on 2 stations of this on each side of a highway, it will increase to 10MW. Think on the power taxes for this and the investment on the grid.. :(. This will increase the costs to very high values…

Ernest
3 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

That’s the right way! Fast charger for shorter recharge time to serve more and more clients and incrase investment payback.

Lambda
3 days ago

Hi Pedro,

Long time reader, first time commenter here. Thought I’d chip in since I come here for insights I see nowhere else. What is your appraisal of the whole battery swap concept? Does Ample’s solution, which looks to swap modules of approx. 4-6x the size of VW’s unified cell and thus more or less solves the standardization issue, seem advantageous to you?

Do energy density innovations such as silicon-dominant or lithium metal anodes detract from battery swap or support it? On the one hand faster charge rate reduces the need to compensate electrochemical limitations with mechanical solutions. But on the other hand, the mechanical side does become easier with smaller and lighter modules. And the fast effective charge rate means a reasonable reduction in battery capacity (and with it mass) does not meaningfully impact convenience. Car A so to speak.

Not to mention much of the need for performant cooling falls away since fast-charging produces some 3x the heat as during normal driving conditions (quoting the i-CoBat project lead here). Where desired a cold plate solution should still be possible. And as cells would no longer be optimized for fast-charging, thicker electrodes should be possible, increasing cell energy density. Add to that the C-rate Ragone plot side of things. And upgrades to sodium-ion or room-temp NaS batteries would become possible. This would, as you say, go beyond the primitive EVs of today.

Nevertheless, the potential for corporate abuse is there and Ample’s quoted prices for swaps are disappointing (just 10-20% cheaper than gas I believe). And only China seems capable of imposing application-specific standards.

Thanks in advance!

Lambda
2 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Hm, I see, thanks for the insight. I wonder how much of the overpriced battery swap service is due to the early stages of the technology implementation and the low economies of scale we have achieved thus far, and how much of it is corporations doing business as usual to keep the consumer dependent on a proprietary solution or standard (cough, Tesla North America, cough). Surely appropriate government regulation and healthy competition would do wonders to lower costs.

I also get your point about having to rent the battery, but shouldn’t it be possible to keep the battery ‘in storage’ at the local swap station until you return from a long trip? You’d only be renting out batteries as a service for that single trip, using high-energy density but lower cycle life chemistries for greater convenience (for a premium). Price would just be given by the amount of competition. On returning home, you would continue using your own battery, and charging it normally at home/work through Level 2 charging and standard sockets. And having avoided the worst of the battery degradation on the car. Or you could just use normal chargers at all times if you felt so inclined, although maybe not the highest-power ones.

About the reserve capacity at fast-charging stations: isn’t it quite lossy to charge a battery by discharging another (and doing so through a small cable)? Why not swap in the initial batteries to begin with? Without needing to go to the extreme claimed 20s swapping time from Aulton, or 90s from Geely, surely a sub-5-min swapping time would be an efficient (and cost-effective since LFP or NIB would do) way of transferring that charge to the car.

Anyway, the way things are going, I doubt battery swap will become established anytime soon in Western countries. There doesn’t seem to be the regulation in place to foster this additional option, and it is quite likely companies will abuse their positions. NIO’s solution seems very niche as very large or small vehicles cannot use the same battery.

It’s a pity since the potential consumer and climate benefits are undeniable.

antrik
2 days ago
Reply to  Lambda

Logistics inevitably make swapping more expensive than charging.

antrik
2 days ago
Reply to  Lambda

Besides the logistics of swapping itself, the problems with swappable batteries are limited design space (slightly reduced with modular ones, but still seriously limited) and overhead (made worse with modular ones). Case in point: a structural pack is not really viable with swappable batteries — at least if you don’t want a custom pack format for every single model…

In other words, a fixed pack is simpler and cheaper; needs less space and weight for the same range; and presumably can fill up almost as fast with silicon anodes.

Lambda
2 days ago
Reply to  antrik

Good points. It is certainly true that you lose some flexibility from going to module size. In a sense we have already seen this trend to larger standard formats in the cell environment. Tesla’s 4680, VW’s unified cell and BYD’s blade battery are examples of this, although I do expect BYD’s battery cell to have some flexibility in length dimensions.

Still, the quantification of loss in flexibility at the small module level is not obvious to me. Neither is the overhead for modular batteries. I think a good starting point would be to adapt the battery swap concept to long-range trucking and van fleets. The former to minimize MW-level chargers, the latter for weight and use case reasons (Ample’s focus for now). One could even pursue a hybrid approach for those automakers wanting to offer the option for their cars. Split the battery in two: e.g. 25 kWh vehicle-bound long cycle life silicon-anode LFP and any additional capacity being assigned to battery swap modules. One single heat plate cooling system shared between the two. That allows for a certain upgradeability to counteract battery degradation and even increase range, and it makes long trips easier without eliminating day-to-day conventional charging.

As for costs: it depends on the timeframe you are looking at. If you are able to increase your pack capacity by 50% in a few years after costs have come down and chemistries have improved, then cost-wise you are undoubtedly better off with a battery swap capable car. Not only were you able to buy a smaller capacity battery upfront, but you might even delay buying a new car, saving costs. Additionally, stations could perform grid services, something made difficult in vehicle bound batteries since a grid capable connection is not always available for parked cars and owners will be reluctant to potentially decrease the lifetime of a battery they know they cannot upgrade. These grid services are another source of income, whether that is passed onto consumers or not would of course depend on the market competition and regulation. And finally a reduction in unnecessary degradation from fast-charging is cost avoided.

So yes, the fixed pack is simpler, but it also doesn’t provide all the benefits and even potential cost savings that a swappable one does. That doesn’t mean you can’t fast-charge or can’t keep the batteries in your vehicle forever, it just means that as a consumer, you have greater flexibility. If the competition and some regulation exists of course.

Regarding “needs less space and weight for the same range”, that is absolutely true, but if the swapping station density and swapping speed is high enough (let’s say under 5 min), then beyond a certain minimum absolute range, it is the speed of travel that will matter most.

Last edited 2 days ago by Lambda
Rok
1 day ago
Reply to  Lambda

I do not believe we could see swapping getting traction before we see x3 increase in gravimetric and x2 in volumetric density. Might be possibility when those figures are achieved but then again, if you achieve them, get price cut by 50%, why would you even consider it? You already have C, D segment cars with 700km+ highway range and A, B cars with 500km+ WLTP. Might be feasible only for smaller cars with lower range to get a temporary boost in range for longer trips.

Rok
2 days ago

Pedro, happy to be of any help and always glad to read your news and thoughts. When do you think we could get first cars in EU with such batteries, even the ones without any rare-materials and decent gravimetric specifications?

antrik
2 days ago

Don’t be silly: you know perfectly well that a vehicle with 40 kWh more battery has no reason to cost 7000 Euros more, everything else being equal.

Also, you are kinda contradicting you own point, by going on to muse about the extra possibilities offered by a BIG mobile battery…

Alok
2 days ago

I think a 60-70 kWh Enevate battery would be great for lots of people.
Still some will want a bigger one.

10-80 % charging is also about 5 min.

Particularly helpful for long trips: charging to 98% takes about 10 min.
Stops along the highway are often longer than that.