24M Delivers SemiSolid Cells With Energy Density Above 280 Wh/kg

FEB 27 2019 BY MARK KANE 38

The potential is for 400 Wh/kg

24M, the battery start-up headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., announced first delivery of a commercially viable, high energy density lithium-ion cells – the SemiSolid lithium-ion battery design – to an undisclosed industrial partner.

The energy density of the cells produced at the pilot facility exceed 280 Wh/kg, which – as 24M points out – is over 10% more than the current state-of-the-art industry benchmark for EV applications – 250 Wh/kg.

“These deliveries represent a significant milestone in the 24M mission to scale its unique, capital-efficient, low-cost approach to advanced lithium-ion battery manufacturing.”

The 12% increase is welcome, although 24M’s goal is much higher – 350 Wh/kg or even over 400 Wh/kg. We guess that those goals are not yet available and development needs to be continued.

“The development of the high energy density nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cells is part of a $7M three-year contract awarded to 24M in 2016 by the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy. The program is chartered with developing electrochemical energy storage technologies that support the commercialization of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles. To achieve the final USABC 2020 density target of 350 Wh/kg by the end of 2019, 24M has developed a multi-faceted, lab-proven approach that includes a novel use of silicon for high energy density anodes.24M also delivered similar NMC cells with energy densities above 280 Wh/kg to an industrial partner. With these cells, the higher energy densities were achieved by optimizing 24M’s SemiSolid electrode technology, which eliminates the use of a pore-clogging binder, enabling higher active material densities than can be achieved with conventional electrodes. The demonstration of this technology is a major milestone on the 24M roadmap to achieving even higher energy densities (>400 Wh/kg) using its capital-efficient manufacturing process.”

Naoki Ota, CTO of 24M said:

“It’s very gratifying to see science translated from the lab into innovative new products as 24M has done by developing and delivering these high energy density cells. Moreover, we were able to leverage our novel electrode, cell and manufacturing approach to exceed 280 Wh/kg, a significant step towards delivering low-cost lithium-ion cells with industry-leading performance to the EV market.”

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38 Comments on "24M Delivers SemiSolid Cells With Energy Density Above 280 Wh/kg"

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OK, so assuming batteries are going to hit 400wh/kg; do we now need to be talking about a repower standard for these cars? Apart from some rust and some jinky suspension bits, the shell and other parts of a Leaf will outlive its battery. Unless we figure out how to retrofit cars, we’re going to have a lot of Gen 1/Gen 2 cars that are otherwise going to have to go to the scrapheap.

Planned obsolescence is exactly what manufacturers want. It’s the same with desktop computers/phones/electronics. Not that long ago, electronics were built with components that could have been upgraded and/or replaced. Now…you’re lucky if you can even get the thing open.

Actually EU is working on a directive to force manufacturers make serviceable products again.

That’s just how the market an theirfore capitalism works. You have to buy, buy and buy new things because it’s “good” for the economy. The more companies produce and sell the more profit they can make. It’s not a bad thing in the first place because there are useful products out there. But they have to last and be repairable. Unfortunately that’s not the case for most things nowadays. So it kind of is bad that companies produce that much because it means environmental destruction. Furthermore in many countries there are often no laws to protect workers and that’s exactly where companies like to produce their products because it’s cheap and that’s why we can buy cheap products. It’s a devils circle and unless we break free nothing is going to change. Electric cars could change that because probably only the battery pack needs to be replaced after 10-15 years. Electric motors virtually last forever. But I guess it’s not going to happen. It’s just not how the “free market” works.

Well some manufacturers are finding a profit center in buying old hardware, refurbing, and reselling it with full warranty (Apple ).

I could see Tesla exploring this.

Not to mention battery packs from wrecked cars will always be a thing.

Great info. Thanks

Why scrap heap? They are one of the primary sources of parts for DIY EV builders.

…and/or for Solar storage.

While engines are expensive and when they break at late ages they make the car unworthy of repair, great majority of cars are not dumped because of that.
Rust isn’t an issue either nowadays.
Cars get old and deprecated, EVs is a new tech that is probably evolving faster than other tech and will make cars obsolete even faster – at least during first years.
I don’t think EVs will have a longer life, batteries will fail for sure (engines with luck can last “forever”) and at least for now prices will be so big that they’ll also make cars unworthy of repair.

Rust is still a problem I’m afraid. Depending a lot of the climate you live in of course, and how well the rust protection work. If you look at almost any car that is 7-10 years old, in an area which use salt in the winter, you will find rust in almost all. . . And when they start to rust, things can go down hill very quickly. The thin high tensile steel that replaced thicker normal steel in older models will have structural problems quicker when it start to corrode.

Rust isn’t a problem if you build the car from something other than steel…
Such as Aluminium or Carbon Fibre perhaps?

Auto makers are definitely not moving toward more aluminum, nor more carbon fiber except in very high-end models.

In fact, Tesla has moved away from mostly aluminum to mostly steel in the Model 3; and BMW isn’t following up on using carbon-fiber for car bodies after experimenting with doing that in the i3.

When batteries get cheap enough due to economy of scale aftermarket solutions will be readily available and affordable. The automakers won’t be able to do anything to stop it.

Auto makers certainly will be able to put a stop to the aftermarket using their proprietary software in the BMS that every EV’s li-ion battery pack absolutely has to have.

That’s one of the reasons why it will be advisable to use a refurbished/ salvaged pack, rather than one made from scratch by a third party.

If there is a market for it, someone will come up with a business to retrofit new batteries into old EVs. People already convert ICE to EV.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Numbers we want to see…

Wh/kg: 280
Capacity at 21700 form factor or similar:
Drain C rate:
Charge C rate:
Fast Charge at C rate:
Operating temp range:
Cycle Life 80% DOD:
Cycle Life 100% DOD:

Now put that info in a table comparing it to the battery cells used in, LEAF, Bolt, Tesla, Jaguar and Polestar 2, Rivian etc…

Exactly. SolidEnergy has delivered small quantities of their 450 Wh/kg cells for some time, but cost and cycle life are not suitable for EVs yet. They say 2021, but don’t bet on it.

At least they have real cells and provide full specs. Those who announce one metric while keeping all others secret should mostly be ignored.

According to their original timeline SolidEnergy should have arrived in smartphones last year…. sadly nothing like that happened. 🙁

Yeah, they’re way behind. And their cycle life sucks. They’re winning the race by default right now, though, as no other next gen chemistry can get to the starting line.

And power density. The big knock on solid electrolytes has been low ion mobility. If you want power, you need to move lots of ions, quickly. Granted, they’re using some kind of hybrid solid/liquid electrolyte, however the question remains…

This is very exciting news. The Bolt EV, I-PACE, Kona Electric, Niro EV, etc. are all using cells with an energy density of ~250 Wh/kg at the cell level. Even just bumping up to 280 Wh/kg will result in an affordable ~300-mile class of EV cars. The 350 to 400 Wh/kg cells, if achieved, would make large SUV and pickup truck EV platforms viable.

If this tech works out, ICE passenger vehicles of any configuration will no longer be competitive in less than 10 years.

Actually it won’t take 10 years. Apart from that, the battery swap option of NIO becomes more interesting every day. They have already increased capacity from 70 to 84 kwh, so the future is bright for their systems. Imagine in 5 years or so you can swap to 110 or more!

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“Imagine in 5 years or so you can swap to 110 or more!”

That’s a nice wish.

It will take 10 years mostly based on production limitations and pricing.

Right now, there simply isn’t enough production capacity for EVs (batteries, motors, etc.) to make them competitive. Even with a committed ramp up, it will take several years before EVs can approach 50% of total new vehicle production.

Also, people seem to underestimate the importance of upfront costs, and as long as functionally equivalent ICE vehicles can be purchased for a 30% to 50% lower upfront cost, they will remain competitive.

My bet, 50% total light vehicle production mid to late 2030s. With some good luck I might get to see it.

I “imagine” — or rather, I understand the industry well enough to know — that in 5 years or so, they’ll be facing the same battery cell shortage as every other auto maker who hasn’t invested heavily in battery cell factories whose rate of output they — and not the battery cell manufacturers — control.

It’s nice that Nissan is offering a limited number of battery pack replacements, obviously in an attempt to mitigate the bad reputation the Leaf has for premature battery aging, but that’s going to be the exception — not the rule.

As a rule, the auto makers are going to want one of the limited number of new battery pack they can make or buy to be used in a new car to sell you, not an old one.

Even if that wasn’t the case, it would still make more sense to put a refurbished/ used battery pack from a salvage yard into an old car, rather than pay for a new expensive battery pack which will likely outlast the car itself.

The old packs should end up in home energy systems. Since they are repurposed, they should be half the price of a new system.
This will kick the energy storage in new gear.

Delivered to an unknown company by a brown shoed salesman in the dead of night.

And we don’t even know if that unknown company was an EV maker or not. I see the article does specify that they were trying for improved EV batteries, but there are other markets; the market for batteries in portable consumer electronics (cell phones, laptops, etc.) is pretty big.

It’s most likely GM, who is one of the three automakers contributing to the program that funded 24M, and GM has one of the largest battery testing facilities in the world. GM has been hinting at a new battery technology capable of supporting 300+ mile EVs for about a year and a half now, and this could be what they were referring to.

Sounds like a repeat of Envia, hope GM isn’t the kiss of death.

Envia was the Theranos of the EV battery world. GM had nothing to do with Envia’s failure to deliver as promised.

Batteries are getting better at around 5% a year with some jumps of technology, within the same tech it’s a little less – maybe 3%/year.
These new batteries seem to keep that trend, nothing new.

I wouldn’t dismiss this as non-news. It is these incremental improvements in battery cell energy density and cost which have added up to a surprising overall reduction in size and cost over the past 20-30 years, and at a faster rate within the last 3 years or so.

Also, to respond to some other comments upstream: Comparison with the rate of advancement in the computer/ microprocessor chip industry is unfair. Moore’s Law applies only to such chips, not to other industries.

Battery tech has been improving far faster over the last generation than just about any technology other than computer/ microprocessor chips.

“Batteries are getting better at around 5% a year ”

It has varied per chemistry but lithium ion energy density (P/V) has been increasing 4-5% per year. More significantly specific energy (P/M) has been increasing about 8% per year. Even more significantly cost ($/P) has been decreasing much faster but is currrntly decreasing by about 20% per year. I would posit that batteries with respect to these three attributes are more like 40% better per year ( 1.04 * 1.08 * 1.25)

We hear about battery break-throughs all the time some promising 10x energy density. Somehow none have made it into production. Anyhow, the usual mantra is that what is developed in the lab takes 5 years to get into production. What normally happens is that there is some other quality that makes it unsuitable like cycle life, operating temperature range, power vs energy and of course cost, So has this one covered all the bases? Most likely as their mandate is to design a practical battery not a laboratory curiosity. Just for reference the Tesla/Panasonic 2170 battery cell is 246kwh/kg.