Envia Battery Yields 'World Record' Energy Density

A Silicon Valley start-up called Envia Systems says it has a lithium-ion battery prototype that within three years could power 300 mile-per-charge electric cars that cost between $25,000-$30,000.

Sounds too good to be true? Thus, it probably is? Maybe, and if so, it wouldn’t be the first time. If desired, doubters may stop reading here, but optimists or others at least curious can read on (and check out the company’s announcement linked below).

The story comes via Gigaom.com, which says among believers betting on this new energy horse are GM Ventures, which has invested $7 million in the company, and the U.S. Department of Energy which invested $4 million to see it hit the 400 watt-hour per kilogram target.

And this Envia Systems has done, it says, adding that 400 wh/kg represents a “world record” of around 2.5 times the energy density of some li-ion cells now being sold with 100-150 wh/kg.

Equally encouraging is that Envia says the cost for its new cells could be as low as $125 per kwh, which again, compares favorably to present li-ion batteries such as those in the Nissan Leaf priced at around $375 per kwh and the Chevy Volt at around $500-$600 per kwh.

And let’s not forget Tesla Motors, which has managed to repackage small format laptop style batteries in massive multi-cell arrays at fairly reasonable prices by today’s standards, but which Envia implied are soon to be relegated obsolete.

“Gone are the days of relying on ancient consumer batteries for automobiles and stifling this revolution by making expensive electric cars,” said Envia CEO Atul Kapadia in a barely veiled reference to Tesla.

Envia Systems was founded in the Palo Alto, Calif. public library with the idea of developing a low-cost silicon carbon cathode, and later came up with a proprietary high-voltage electrolyte.

The company now says it can see light at the end of the tunnel for its working prototype based on lithium-ion chemistry. Envia Systems also said it will prove other scientists wrong who have said li-ion chemistry is limited in how inexpensive and energy dense it could be made to be.

“The rumors of the demise of lithium-ion batteries are greatly exaggerated,” Kapadia said.

Plans now are for Envia to work with industry partners with an eye toward possibly licensing its intellectual property, or creating joint ventures to see batteries produced.

This route toward getting its products into vehicles is preferred, Kapadia said, because it takes much less money out of pocket than it would for the new company to manufacture its own batteries.


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  • Van

    I expect more tax dollars will be funneled into this “hot project.” We are supposed to think they will do what LC and Panasonic, and Nissan are unable to do? Doubt overcomes me.

    Nissan said they will have a NMC lithium ion battery produced and packaged and in the Leaf showrooms by 2015 that will provide 186 miles of performance. A ratio will tell you that if their current Leaf battery capacity is 24 KWh and provides a claimed 100 miles, then the next Generation will have about 45 KWh, and assuming they hold the cost of the total battery where it is, the cost of a KWh will drop from $375 per KWh to $175 per KWh.

    Meanwhile, Toyota and Panasonic are supposed to be getting their own version of the NMC battery ready too.

  • BEW

    Touting a GM and DOE investment as a source of credibility seems a stretch. Can anyome remember EESTOR?

  • Max Reid

    Hope Envia makes it where EESTOR failed. Lets see.

    In few months, we can see Tesla Model-S with 300 mile battery range. If the car does travel 300 miles, that itself will give a big hope for EVs.

    EESTOR was taken over by ZENN Motor company, but they never sold a car and their website does not give meaningful info.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Sounds like what EEstar said a few years ago. I’ll believe it when I see it…..what ever happened to their super fast charging long distance battery. Sometimes I wonder if they make these announcements just to get more funding dollars…or investors…


  • Capt. Concernicus

    Just more hype to lure investors. Like other posters on here…I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Too bad I live on the 3rd floor of a building. No EV’s in my future.

  • Shines

    Well I for one hope the hype turns to reality. A 300 mile range EV for under $30K would change the marketplace.
    And I have to ask Capt. Concernicus – what does living on the 3rd floor of a building have to do with owning an EV – you don’t have a garage space with an outlet?
    I can see this coming soon – mobile rechargers (like tow trucks) with large batteries and generators that can stop by and recharge (for a small fee) dead/low batteries on cars in lots or parked/stranded along the road.

  • Ramon123

    Envia is lying if they are really claiming that reducing by half the cost of batteries will produce an affordable $20K EV with a 300 mile range.
    The Tesla Model S has the cheapest batteries around and their 300 mile battery pack costs $40K. Both Toyota and DBM-Energy have promised batteries 90% cheaper within 3 years. Either one of those batteries will blow Envia away. Beware investing in Envia.

  • John K.

    I have old notes to myself that Eestor was claiming 52 kWh/336 lbs. That converts to 340 Wh/kg — 15% LESS than Envia’s claim of 400 Wh/kg.

    Go Envia!

  • Blonda

    Well.. i wish this is true news! it will be great for the industry and mostly for the consumers who won’t pay as much as they do now on a car! Wel.. we’ll see what future brings..
    Rochii Seara

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