For electric cars and other vehicles that rely on electron mediation instead of fossil fuels, energy storage battery technology is key. That's why emerging companies are racing to see who can recharge their innovative type of battery faster. Another player in this field is Ionblox.
New battery technology
The startup based in Fremont, California, is developing batteries of a common established type based on lithium and ions. Their difference lies in cells with a lithium-infused silicon anode. Thanks to this process, they can achieve up to 50% higher energy storage densities. The capacity is increased fivefold and the cells can replenish up to 80% of their capacity in just ten minutes.
A pilot production line is being used to assemble 50 Ah cells. The company has now announced the completion of the second round of testing with the Series B prototypes. Ionblox plans to use its cells for electric cars and vertical take-off (eVTOL) aircraft. They are working with leading vehicle manufacturers. These include Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Together, they are trying to make charging times as close as possible to the refuelling times of internal combustion cars.
When will we see it?
The company has raised a $32 million investment for the second round of testing. This will also be used to increase the size and dimensions of the cells to the point where they can be used in the aerospace industry. It should also be used to prototype a battery for cars that supports very fast recharging.
The battery uses silicon as its main anode component. Conventional lithium batteries use graphite. The use of silicon mixed with lithium makes the battery much more stable during the charging process. In addition, it allows the capacity of the cells to be increased over the same area or the space required to maintain the original capacity to be reduced. Due to the absence of graphite, the battery does not suffer as much. One of the disadvantages on the other hand may be the lower conductivity. Even so, the hope for more comfortable and faster charging is pinned on this variant. But it’s still a longer way to solid electrolyte cells.