According to Michael Kanellos of cnet NEWS.com:
EnerDel says it will come out with a lithium-ion battery for plug-in hybrids that will cost $1,500, a development that could go a long way to making these cars palatable in terms of price.
The Indianapolis-based company, which recently received a $6.5 million grant from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), hopes to deliver the battery to car manufacturers for their 2010 lineups, according to Charles Gassenheimer, vice chairman of the company. The 2010 model cars will start coming out in September 2009, he said. ...
Competitor Altair Nanotechnologies uses a similar chemistry.
EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1, Inc. (OTCBB: ENEI) was one of five battery companies that received awards from The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). They received a $2.5 million contract over two years for plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) research. The award is for the development of cells for 10- and 40-mile range PHEVs using nano-phase lithium titanate coupled with a high voltage Nickel-Manganese cathode material. The total DOE/industry cost share will be $2.5 million and the DOE will fund its share of $1.25 million.
This comes on top of a 18-month contract, valued at $6.5 million, that was awarded on September 18, that was the second of a three-phase USABC program and requires a 50 percent cost share. EnerDel successfully completed Phase I in June. EnerDel's Phase II contract involves development focused on scaling up to a production caliber cell, extensive lifetime testing and evaluation, as well as demonstrating the technology in battery modules.
The company claims the following advantages for its design:
- EnerDel is convinced that a non-graphite anode material is key for success in automobile battery business. EnerDel has developed their own Lithium Titanate Anode material in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for HEV applications. They have also developed a Hard Carbon anode lithium ion battery for PHEV/EV applications. Both chemistries show extremely good safety and cycle life performance in comparison with graphite based lithium ion batteries.
- The mechanical design inside the EnerDel cell is a stack design where the electrodes are stacked on top of each other, i.e. multiple anode and cathode pairs of electrodes are stacked on top of each other. This differs markedly from almost all lithium ion batteries in the market today, which are using a wound design.
- EnerDel’s stack design in the cell is accomplished with a fully automated mass production process.
- The EnerDel design is 50% smaller and 35% lighter than todays NiMH designs.
- Retains over 95% of initial capacity after 1000 charge and discharge cycles at 55°C.
- The technology shows good wide temperature range and very good performance at -30°C to 55°C, crucial for automotive applications.
- By utilizing a unique, highly automated manufacturing process, EnerDel expects to succeed at being the first company to cost-competitively mass-produce a Li-ion battery in the United States.
More details on EnerDel can be found in this previous post.
The DOE press release for the most recent contract said in part:
On September 25, DOE Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin M. Kolevar announced DOE will invest nearly $20 million in PHEV research. Five projects have been selected for negotiation of awards under DOE's collaboration with the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) for $17.2 million in DOE funding for PCHEV battery development projects. DOE will also provide nearly $2 million to the University of Michigan (U-M) to spearhead a study exploring the future of PHEVs. DOE funding announced today will help advance President Bush's Twenty in Ten Plan, which aims to displace twenty percent of gasoline usage by 2017 through greater use of clean, renewable fuels and increased vehicle efficiency. PHEVs have the potential to displace a large amount of gasoline by delivering up to 40 miles of electric range without recharging - a distance that would include most daily roundtrip commutes.
Companies selected for negotiation of awards include:
- 3M of St. Paul, MN – selected for an award of up to $1.14 million from DOE (total DOE/industry cost share: $ 2.28 million) over two years to screen nickel/manganese/cobalt (NMC) cathode materials through building and testing of small-sized cells;
- A123Systems of Watertown, MA – selected for an award of up to $6.25 million from DOE (total DOE/industry cost share: $12.5 million) over three years for a project to develop batteries based on nanophase iron-phosphate chemistry for 10- and 40-mile range PHEVs;
- Compact Power Inc. of Troy, MI – selected for an award of up to $4.45 million from DOE (total DOE/industry cost share: $12.7 million) over three years to develop batteries for 10-mile range PHEVs using high energy and high power Manganese-spinel;
- EnerDel, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN – selected for an award of up to $1.25 million from DOE (total DOE/industry cost share: $2.5 million) over two years to develop cells for 10- and 40-mile range PHEVs using nano-phase lithium titanate coupled with a high voltage Nickel-Manganese cathode material;
- Johnson Controls – Saft Advanced Power Solutions of Milwaukee, WI – selected for an award of up to $4.1 million from DOE (total DOE/industry cost-share: $8.2 million) over two years to develop batteries using a nickelate/layered chemistry for 10- and 40-mile range PHEVs.
The University of Michigan’s Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute (MMPEI) will receive nearly $2 million from DOE to coordinate efforts among DOE and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and DTE Energy to conduct a two-year study on PHEVs.
USABC is a consortium of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), the umbrella organization for collaborative research among the Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation. Supported by a cooperative agreement with the DOE, USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of fuel cell, hybrid, and electric vehicles.