Ionblox launches its XFC cells

California-based battery developer Ionblox announces the launch of its ultra-fast-charging lithium silicon cells for electric vehicles. Ionblox's investors include Bavarian aviation startup Lilium.

Image: Ionblox

Inoblox, a Fremont-based company founded in 2017, initially called itself Zenlabs. The startup describes itself as a company that wants to change the future of mobility on land and in the air. The XFC cells (XFC stands for “extreme fast charging”) now launched are aimed at the vehicle market.

According to the company, the cells allow a battery to charge 60 per cent in just five minutes and 80 per cent in ten minutes. In addition, Ionblox says the cells enable electric vehicle manufacturers to either increase range by 30 to 50 per cent with a similarly sized Ionblox battery pack or reduce weight and cost with a smaller Ionblox battery pack.

Ionblox’s lithium-silicon cells are said to maintain their performance over the vehicle’s life. In rigorous testing of large-format pouch cells with a capacity of 32 Ah, the batteries withstood more than 1,000 extreme fast-charge cycles with minimal degradation, Ionblox says. According to the company, that is because of a patented pre-lithiated silicon monoxide anode and a “unique cell architecture.” On top of that, the cells are said to be able to be manufactured on existing cell manufacturing equipment.

“The battery industry has long grappled with the critical challenge of balancing high-energy storage and fast charging within a single, durable battery,” said Dr. Herman Lopez, Chief Technology Officer of Ionblox. “Our groundbreaking lithium-silicon technology shatters this barrier. We’ve engineered high-performance cells that are not only compact and lightweight, but also robust enough for continuous use under 5-minute extreme fast charging, effectively closing the performance divide between electric vehicles and their internal combustion counterparts.”

Earlier this year, the California-based battery developer had closed a $32 million Series B funding round, in which German electric flying-taxi startup startup Lilium also participated.


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