The Californian battery startup Enevate has announced a new generation of its lithium-ion cells, which will also be produced in large quantities is to be installed in series-produced cars in a few years time. The specified charging speeds sound impressive.
Enevate’s corresponding press release talks about “fourth-generation technology”, optimised for marketing in large quantities and production on a “gigafactory scale”. It should enable extremely fast charging with high energy density and at lower material costs than conventional lithium-ion batteries, while at the same time being compatible with existing battery production facilities.
The new 4th generation XFC energy technology with silicon-dominated anode technology allows a 5-minute charge to 75 per cent capacity at 800 Wh/L and 340 Wh/kg cell energy density. Extrapolated to a typical BEV battery, this means that electricity can be recharged in five minutes for another 390 kilometres (240 miles), says Enevate. The company based in Irvine, California has been promising this kind of quick charge for a while now, but this is the first time it has been backed up with more concrete figures.
According to company founder and CTO Benjamin Park, the technology has been designed for “large-format pouch, prismatic and cylindrical EV cells” in which a pure silicon anode is combined with nickel-rich NCA, NCM and NCMA cathodes. This enables the cells to achieve 1,000 cycles and to operate at temperatures of “-20˚C and below”.
Park even goes so far as to say that his technology will help “close the usability gap between today’s EVs and gas (fossil-fuelled) cars”. Although Enevate has not detailed the exact cost savings in anode production compared to those made of synthetic graphite, they do say that the silicon anode could be manufactured in a continuous roll-to-roll production process at over 80 meters per minute. The pure silicon anode rolls of “more than 1 meter wide and more than 5 kilometers long” should be sufficient for high-volume production. Also significant is that they say that all this can be managed on existing machines that can be converted with “minimal investment”.
At the end of 2018, the manufacturers’ alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi acquired a stake in Enevate. According to its own statements, the Californian battery developer is currently working with several automotive OEMs and battery manufacturers to market its technology for electric cars in the 2024-2025 model year.
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