California-based battery start-up Enevate, backed by manufacturer alliance Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, has signed a production licensing agreement with EnerTech International for the planned commercialisation of its silicon-dominated anode technology XFC-Energy in 2022.
A year and a half ago, Enevate announced a new generation of its silicon lithium-ion cells that would also be capable of high-volume production. At the time, the Californian company announced that the improved technology 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.
This compatibility is now reflected in the collaboration with EnerTech International, a South Korean manufacturer of lithium-ion cells. The licensee plans to market Enevate’s silicon-dominated anode technology lithium-ion cells in the transportation, mobility and backup power markets. Pre-series batteries have already been built and tested on EnerTech’s existing lithium-ion battery production facilities, according to the partners. “With the agreement, Enevate will deliver enabling technology to accelerate EnerTech’s market expansion and triple its manufacturing capacity output,” the companies wrote.
“This production license agreement with EnerTech represents another step toward establishing Enevate technology as the de facto standard for offering fast charge, high energy density, and improved safety,” Enevate CEO Robert A. Rango expressed. Enevate’s new battery technology is compatible with both lithium-ion cathode chemistries and solid-state electrolytes, he said.
Enevate claims to have more than 400 patents granted or in the process of registration. The company intends to market its know-how by licensing its intellectual property to third parties. Among others, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is interested: at the end of 2018, the manufacturer alliance took a stake in Enevate. Only in February, the company also raised a further 81 million US dollars in a new financing round.
The Irvine-based company particularly emphasises the fast-charging qualities of its technology. In January 2020, Enevate underpinned this goal for the first time with somewhat more concrete figures. The 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, it said. Extrapolated to a typical BEV battery, this could provide power for an additional 390 kilometres (240 miles) in five minutes.
According to company founder and CTO Benjamin Park, the technology was developed for “large format pouch, prismatic and cylindrical EV cells”, combining a pure silicon anode with nickel-rich NCA, NCM and NCMA cathodes. This enables the cells to reach 1,000 cycles and operate at temperatures of “-20˚C and below”.