Envia Systems, Inc. Grant For High Energy Density Lithium Batteries for Electric Vehicles and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Project
Envia Systems, Inc. will create a low cost, high energy density, high performance battery system 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, as well as cathodes that are capable of matching the new anodes. These anodes and cathodes will be developed for commercial application, creating a battery with an energy density triple that of existing electric vehicle batteries.
Envia will expand its manufacturing capability to incorporate these technology advancements into their commercial battery production. By the end of 2011, the company anticipates developing pouch cells with an energy density of at least 400 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg).
$1 million. This project aligns with a funding allocation of $9 million toward “manufacturing facilities” established in the Energy Commission’s 2008-2010 Investment Plan for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technologies 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.
$4,452,194 in ARRA funds and project team match.
Envia Systems, a lithium ion battery manufacturer based in Alameda County, will be the primary agency responsible for this project.
Illinois-based Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) will partner with Envia and has had an important role in developing advanced composite cathode technology with a capacity roughly double that of commercial cathodes.
General Motors, the world’s second largest automaker in 2010, is not an official part of the project, but has signed a co-development agreement with Envia Systems and may have a role in the commercialization of any lithium-ion battery technology developed.
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’s 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 Chevy 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.
Envia Systems estimates that its technology, suitable for both plug-in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles, will be utilized by roughly 2 million new vehicles in 2021, each achieving an average of 100 miles per gallon. When compared to the US CAFE standards for 2020 of 35 miles per gallon for passenger vehicles, this results in an estimated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 4 million tons of CO2 each year, and an annual petroleum reduction of 11 million barrels of oil in 2020.
This project also will provide important economic benefits to Alameda County. If this program is successful, it will create a strong competitive advantage for Envia Systems, helping the company grow. Given the region’s experience with the semiconductor industry, Envia Systems anticipates adding many of its new employees from among Silicon Valley’s existing residents.
Envia Systems already depends on more than 60 material suppliers. Many of these suppliers are located out-of-state, but might choose to open facilities in California to be closer to their customer.
Presently, the vast majority of cathode and anode materials for lithium-ion batteries worldwide are provided by suppliers from Asia. Given the competitive advantages of Envia Systems’ technology, this project could mark a first step a Californian industry that can compete in world markets.
Grant Agreement Number: ARV-09-004