Envia Systems battery breakthrough for affordable 300 mile range electric cars
Lithium battery startup company Envia Systems plans to announce tomorrow, at the ARPA-E conference, development of a high energy density lithium battery (400 watt-hours per kilogram) which could be the tipping point enabling long range affordable electric cars. Long range electric cars have been possible for quite awhile, Solectria built one in the 1990's, and Tesla Motors has been selling the Roadster and will soon be selling the Model S with battery packs sufficient for 200-300 miles of all electric driving range. What Envia brings to this is higher energy density and lower cost, a combination which would make for an affordable, long range, electric car with a 300-mile range and a price around $25,000 to $30,000.
The company is a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2007, headquartered in Newark CA, and with a prototyping and manufacturing plant in Jiaxing China. The company received a $4 million ARPA-E award in the High Energy Density Lithium Batteries program, as well as significant amounts of private investment from GM Ventures and others.
Envia's technology is a new cathode design for lithium-Ion batteries which the company calls the High Capacity Manganese Rich (HCMR) cathode. It's claimed the design has excellent stability, long lifetime in charge cycles, and a high per cell voltage. The company has also designed anode and electrolyte materials required to build complete batteries. Batteries have a positive terminal (the anode), a negative terminal (the cathode), and an electrolyte mix between the two. Electrons move between the anode and cathode through the electrolyte.