DRIVE: California's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program

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Envia Systems, Inc. Grant For High Energy Density Lithium Batteries for Electric Vehicles and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Project

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Envia Systems, Inc. will develop low cost, high energy density, high performance battery materials for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. With the help of this and other grants, the company will develop and test a series of new, unique, nano-technology composite anodes for lithium-ion batteries. These anodes and cathodes will be developed for commercial application, creating a battery with an energy density triple that of existing electric vehicle batteries. In February 2012, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division announced that a pouch cell from Envia Systems had reached a new milestone for energy density at 400 watt hours per kilogram (Wh/kg).

Grant Amount

$1 million from the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. Envia Systems also received $4 million in funding from the federal Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Match Funding

$4,452,194 in ARRA funds and project team match.

Project Benefits

Current lithium-ion batteries possess an energy density ranging from 100-200 Wh/kg. Energy densities for Li-on batteries typically improve by about 5 percent each year, meaning they could increase from the 145 Wh/kg for those used in the Chevy Volt in 2010 to 176 Wh/kg in 2014. By 2014, Envia's advanced batteries could begin appearing in automakers' 2018 model-year product line, where they could possess more than twice the energy density of 2010 standard lithium-ion battery technology.

The anticipated increase in battery energy density could allow automakers to either reduce the cost of batteries for electric vehicles or increase the all-electric driving range. Envia Systems estimates that by doubling the energy density of a battery, it can reduce the battery's cost per kWh by approximately half. If one-third of an electric vehicle's cost is the battery (approximately the case for the original Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf), this would reduce a vehicle's overall cost by roughly 17 percent. Alternatively, if an automaker utilizes advanced batteries to extend a vehicle's all-electric range, the overall carbon emissions of those vehicles would be further reduced. Lowering prices would increase consumer interest in these lower-carbon vehicles, while increasing the range would alleviate consumer worries about the limited driving range of all-electric vehicles.

Grant Agreement Number: ARV-09-004

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