Long-Range Electric Vehicle Batteries

Envia Systems
High Energy Density Lithium Batteries
Graphic of Envia's technology
Program: 
ARPA-E Award: 
$4,000,000
Location: 
Newark, CA
Project Term: 
01/01/2010 to 12/31/2011
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Critical Need: 
Most of today's electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries--the same kind of batteries used in cell phones and laptop computers. Currently, most Li-Ion batteries used in EVs provide a driving range limited to 100 miles on a single charge and account for more than half of the total cost of the vehicle. To compete in the market with gasoline-based vehicles, EVs must cost less and drive farther. An EV that is cost-competitive with gasoline would require a battery with twice the energy storage of today's state-of-the-art Li-Ion battery at 30% of the cost.
Project Innovation + Advantages: 
In a battery, metal ions move between the electrodes through the electrolyte in order to store energy. Envia Systems is developing new silicon-based negative electrode materials for Li-Ion batteries. Using this technology, Envia will be able to produce commercial EV batteries that outperform today's technology by 2-3 times. Many other programs have attempted to make anode materials based on silicon, but have not been able to produce materials that can withstand charge/discharge cycles multiple times. Envia has been able to make this material which can successfully cycle hundreds of times, on a scale that is economically viable. Today, Envia's batteries exhibit world-record energy densities.
Impact Summary: 
If successful, Envia's batteries would provide 200-300% more energy storage capacity and range for EVs than today's state-of-the-art batteries--facilitating a shift from gasoline-fueled vehicles to domestically powered EVs.
Security: 
Widespread use of EVs would help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil because our transportation sector is the dominant source of this dependence.
Environment: 
Use of EVs would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the U.S. transportation sector.
Economy: 
This project would enable EVs that could travel from Chicago to St. Louis (300 miles) on a single battery charge, costing $10 on average.
Contacts
ARPA-E Program Director: 
Dr. Dane Boysen
Project Contact: 
Dr. Herman Lopez
Partners
Argonne National Lab