Published on February 29th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan5
Envia EV Battery — Potential Breakthrough
I almost wrote on Envia’s new EV battery, which may be a breakthrough in the industry, a few times in the past few days. Eventually, I decided to include mention of it in our “clean links” roundup yesterday. After Chris DeMorro of sister site Gas2 covered it in a bit more depth and I got a nudge from one of our loyal readers to feature it on CleanTechnica, I’ve decided to give it a bit more sunlight.
Basically, let’s just run down a few key points about EV batteries, the EV industry, and then Envia’s new product.
Electric vehicles are already highly viable, cost-effective automobile options that can save you a good chunk of money in the long term, especially if you combine yours with home solar power (something we’ve written about several times). The range provided by EVs today is really more than adequate for most drivers most of the time,.. but some still cling to the idea that they need a car with longer range.
However, electric vehicles could become a lot more attractive to a lot of people if they cost even a bit less to purchase and if they had a longer range. The cost and the range are both directly tied to the batteries.
Envia has stepped up to the task of improving both of these things! At least, it says it has — and I’m sure there are a lot of people, like me, looking forward to seeing it prove that it has. Specifically, “California-based Envia is claiming that their unique lithium-ion battery technology results in a three-fold increase in energy density, while cutting the cost of batteries in half,” as Chris writes.
This could cut battery cost in half, leaving the option for car companies to boost the range of their EVs significantly and/or cut their price tags (batteries are a significant portion of the cars’ costs).
Furthermore, the company says this is not just a concept or an experiment, but a working product that could be on the market within 18 months. Let’s hope it will be.
It’s also worth noting, I think, that “Envia’s research was funded by the venture-capital arm of General Motors, GM Ventures, which may mean that GM would get first dibs on this ‘breakthrough’ technology.”
Chris has a nice final comment that basically matches exactly with my take on this news:
“I’m usually skeptical about such ‘breakthrough’ claims, but I figure with all the money going into battery research, somebody is going to ‘crack the code’ of battery technology, as it were. Might that somebody be Envia?”