Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown19
A123 Partners With SolidEnergy To Achieve 4X Energy Density In Lithium-Ion Batteries
A123 Venture Technologies has teamed up with SolidEnergy to develop lithium-ion batteries with four times the energy density of conventional lithium-ion batteries. The technology is called a Solid Polymer Ionic Liquid (SPIL) electrolyte.
A123′s standard 18650 batteries only achieve 95 Wh/kg, which is still much better than lead-acid and NiMH batteries, but energy density was the weakness of A123 battery technology.
Conventional lithium-ion batteries are currently in the low 100 Wh/kg range. About 110. Multiply that by four, and you have a whopping 440 Wh/kg. This technology would reduce the weight of the Nissan Leaf’s battery from 660 pounds (due to its below-average energy density of 80 Wh/kg) to a measly 54 pounds. That is so lightweight, you could lift it with one of your bare hands! (Well, if you are fairly strong.) That would make the Leaf light enough that it could travel much further on a charge, or would allow for more batteries to be put in the Leaf, also allowing for much longer range.
Mujeeb Ijaz, President of A123 Venture Technologies, said,“A123 is delighted that SolidEnergy selected us as a development partner and we look forward to providing them with the ecosystem needed to bring this important technology to market in leading edge products.”
Both companies are rooted at MIT, and the technology was developed at MIT. MIT produces many battery geniuses, doesn’t it? You might remember that an MIT professor created a lithium-ion battery that charges in 20 seconds. MIT is also the birthplace of Ambri, a liquid-metal battery on its way to commercialization.
The companies plan to jointly produce consumer electronics battery prototypes within the next year, followed by electric vehicle battery prototypes, and SolidEnergy staff will also be hosted in A123’s Waltham, Massachusetts development facility. Test results are expected to be ready for discussion with target customers in the latter part of 2014.