Low-Cost, High-Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

Low-Cost, High-Performance Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

OPEN 2012
Berkeley, California
Project Term:
02/06/2013 - 03/31/2016

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:

PolyPlus Battery Company is developing an innovative, water-based Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery. Today, Li-S battery technology offers the lightest high-energy batteries that are completely self-contained. New features in these water-based batteries make PolyPlus’ lightweight battery ideal for a variety of military and consumer applications. The design could achieve energy densities between 400-600 Wh/kg, a substantial improvement from today’s state-of-the-art Li-Ion batteries that can hold only 150 Wh/kg. PolyPlus’ technology—with applications for vehicle transportation as well as grid storage—would be able to transition to a widespread commercial and military market.

Potential Impact:

If successful, PolyPlus’ Li-S battery would improve upon the performance, cost, and life span of today’s best batteries for EVs and grid storage applications.


Increased use of EVs would decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil—the transportation sector is the dominant source of this dependence.


Greater use of EVs would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the transportation sector.


The ability to make higher performance batteries at a lower cost would give U.S. battery manufacturers a significant and enduring advantage over their foreign competitors.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik
Project Contact:
Dr. Steve Visco
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

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