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.
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.
Widespread use of EVs would help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil because our transportation sector is the dominant source of this dependence.
Use of EVs would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the U.S. transportation sector.
This project would enable EVs that could travel from Chicago to St. Louis (300 miles) on a single battery charge, costing $10 on average.