Battery Pioneer Claims These Solid-State Cells Gain Capacity Over Time


But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

We’ve seen so many incredible claims about energy storage over the years that our battery breakthrough baloney detectors are practically on a hair trigger. So when we first heard that researchers published a paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) saying that a new solid-state cell actually gained energy capacity over time, flashing red lights and sirens were set off and a robot started rolling the office yelling “Danger, Will Robinson!”

But then we noticed one of the names attached to the scholarly work belonged to one John B. Goodenough, co-inventor of the lithium battery that powers the plug-in vehicles we love. We switched off the sirens and flashing light, and rolled the robot back into its box and took a look for ourselves.

From what we can tell, this appears to be at least related to the battery breakthrough announced last year, in that it too is a solid-state cell that uses a glass electrolyte. This time around, though, a “lithium anode and a plasticizer in contact with a conventional, low cost oxide host cathode” are in play. Also, it contains no cobalt and can apparently by cycled — charged and discharged — an incredible 23,000 times.

Chemistry aside, the claim that this cell improves its energy storage ability really goes against what we thought we knew about battery materials. Typically, a cell’s ability to hold energy decreases as the constant barrage of lithium ions into and out of its electrodes tends to degrade them. As the image above indicates, they observed this phenomenon over the course of 329 cycles.

While we can only hope that this research is onto something, some grains of salt are in order. Axios, which reported this story, got in touch with six other researchers, none of whom had ever seen this sort of thing happen outside an odd anomaly. They also expressed other doubts about the claims.

Lead researcher Maria Helena Braga is confident in their finding though, saying time is on their side, and that, “Data is data and we have similar data from many different cells, in four different instruments, different labs, glove box. And at the end of the day, the LEDs are lit for days with a very small amount of active material after having cycled for more than 23,000 times.

While we can only hope this is some substance to the claims, there is no doubt that there’s a long path from the lab to the commercial production. But, we’ll certainly keep our eyes peeled for any updates.

Source: Axios

Categories: Battery Tech

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120 Comments on "Battery Pioneer Claims These Solid-State Cells Gain Capacity Over Time"

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Apparently they’re not good enough at the beginning

Yea, it seems there might be some chemistry improvements due to the charging process. Those could be replicated at the production.

On the other hand, am I the only one that thinks it’s kind of weird these EV websites seem to think they are in any position to call BS on something published on JACS?

That’s the problem nowadays, you can spend years studying, getting a PhD, researching your chosen topic and some layman can claim it’s BS, because they have a website…

We’re not calling BS. Expressing some skepticism, and pointing out that other actual scientists have also expressed skepticism is not meant to impugn anyone’s credibility. Sometimes researchers make mistakes. Sometimes inaccurate results get published in respected journals. Just calling it as we see it.

We’re happy to publish further positive results as the research progresses.

Flat earth’s express their skepticism on the earth being round, climate change deniers on climate change, evangelicals on evolution…

All of them calling it as they see it. But there is an almost infinitely higher chance that a scientist will find out that climate change works differently, if it should. So maybe they made a mistake, but you sure won’t find it.

The only thing you as a journalist should do is report it and ask other scientists in that field about it. Your own opinion isn’t really needed, when it comes to scientific findings. The paper already went through a peer review at JACS. Unless you think you are a peer, then maybe don’t elevate yourself to an authority on that field.

I think the issue here is not the science, but the reality of mass production. Year after year after year, new science creates incredible things, but production reality often interferes. I don’t think anyone is doubting the science, although many peer reviews are necessary to authenticate, but so often in new battery science, some parts of the equation for future mass use are left out of the press release, like cost, or weight, or cycle life, or energy density, or power etc. I think the public can remain skeptical of the new technology becoming a mass product until it has proven itself. That is not skepticism of the science, just reality for the masses. This technology may be super useful to specific use cases and it may work in those circumstances, but the masses are hoping for a mass use case breakthrough.

This publication expressly doubted this very study, although it was impressed that Goodenough were one of the names on the paper – which, as I read the text, was why they thought it worth reporting. How can you say you don’t think anyone doubts the science??

RJ is just off base entirely. Science is wrong all the time. Individual hypotheses often fail to be proven. The point of science isn’t that every single idea proves correct, it’s that over time we can separate those that are correct from those that are incorrect and arrive at a better understanding of our world and universe.

Holding some skepticism of a purported breakthrough like this isn’t unreasonable at all. In fact, it’s the proper scientific attitude to adopt.

Scientists and researchers are wrong about things all the time. Just because they’ve got a PhD and learned a lot about a given field doesn’t mean their every suspicion suddenly proves correct. It happens all the time that a pharmaceutical compound designed to treat a given condition doesn’t work better than placebo when tested, despite the efforts of many highly intelligent and educated people.

Skepticism is one of the tenants of science. You don’t simply accept something as true until sufficient evidence is presented to support it. In the end the evidence will bear this out if it’s true. However, grand claims require grand proof. And being skeptical of such claims early on is far from unreasonable.

Given that they are indicating, per the graph, something like a 400% increase in capacity I say don’t put away the BS detector. 10% increase, well maybe, 400% not so much, but I can get you a good deal on a perpetual motion machine.

I can not figure a way where capacity would increase that much, but they published.

And., You never will….But Goodenough Did !.

I never said I would publish, cool your snark or get banned.

Looks like 600% to me. Why is 100% plausible and 400% not? Do you base this simply on the old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”..? That’s a very useful attitude towards a salesman trying to trade the product on his hands for the money in your pocket. But not for assessing the accuracy of scientific data. This is a peer-reviewed scientific journal. In any case the study doesn’t seem to promise anything concrete for commercial batteries. It’s advanced the field by adding more specific knowledge and deepening our understanding of how the materials work with respect to some of the fundamental properties we are interested in, but it’s not likely that you can directly use this improved understanding to modify an existing design (that tries to balance lots of concerns, like ease of manufacture, cost of materials, complexity of design, variability of performance, space, weight, compatibility with existing tooling, and a whole lot more) and start offering a much better battery a few months down the road. It sometimes seems like there’s a much shorter path from research to market, but often that’s because there’s stuff in the pipeline we haven’t heard about… Read more »

Reading the details it is per gram of “active” material on the cathode. 600% might translate to 60% at the overall cell level, but they still don’t really explain how that happens except to say “dipoles”.

I said 10% might be plausible. Yes, based on if it seems to good to be true…….

Did you read the study? This is how it usually goes: scientists publish a study full of caveats, a long discussion of the possible sources of errors, analysis of the limitations of the methodology used, numerical calculations of the likelihood the data is a fluke, the authors’ conclusions, and a few sentences about the possible implications. Often, the institution’s PR people seize on one possible implication, making it the headline of a press release. They are trying to draw attention to the study, and caveats are not a good way to do so, hence fade into the background. Then a journalist receiving the press release goes to work. He needs to deliver a piece for publication soon, and the more readers he can draw the better. He’s looking for an angle. Now anything new, say “new electrolyte mixing method could lead to dramatically decreased dendrite formation” in a press release gets further simplified and amped up to something really misleading, or alternatively just devoid of any specific content, such as “breakthrough promising ‘everlasting’ batteries” or “battery pioneer claims breakthrough”. And most of the text won’t even be about the actual research, the material taking effort to explain in a good… Read more »

When Goodenough Discovered the Lithium Cell no one in the USA showed any genuine interest , They took their chemistry to Japan and that’s when Positive things began to happen, and the Lithium ion Cell came to fruition. It would have not happened so rapidly in The USA ,If at all.

It’s lily BS until others can repeat the experiment with the same results….got to have proof

Look at the graph, they go from 100 mAh/g to 200 to 300, they are adequate capacity from the first cycle.


I could maybe believe that the capacity might increase during the first few cycles, or the first few dozen, if the fine structure of the substance has to undergo cycling to “settle down” into a regular array or crystal structure or some such.

But to claim that it continues to increase for hundreds of cycles… well, I’ll again borrow that phrase from a neighboring State and say “I’m from Missouri — show me!”

That is indeed an extraordinary and startling claim. And Carl Sagan was right to promote the axiom “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

No offense to John B. Goodenough, but when claims are that extraordinary, we need actual concrete proof and not just a “thumbs up” from a recognized expert in the field. Even experts are sometimes fooled or make mistakes.

Let’s wait and see if this experiment/ demonstration can be duplicated and repeated by other scientists or researchers, or if it’s something that should be consigned to The Journal of Irreproducible Results. 😉

Goodenough has a Great Track Record as the “inventor” of the Lithium ion battery that the Japanese embraced & Saw that it made to Production when everyone else took him with a grain of Salt ! There are No Reasons for Goodenough to Lie , Especially at his age Now , &, he Definitely Doesn’t need the money ..This is his Life and His Life’s Long Work and I am sure that it’s Also his reason for Living and Probably the Reason his is Still Mentally SHARP as No other or very few other Persons his Age ,((95/96 now ??))) …Let alone the fact that he Works daily…”Call Me Gullible” But., I think Goodenough has another Breakthrough Brewing …Again !

This exact sentiment is the reason that science doesn’t rely and the words of authority figures. He was instrumental in battery development, and demonstrated his previous breakthroughs with evidence. If he has found another breakthrough he gets no “benefit of the doubt”, he’ll need to again demonstrate evidence! This is a single study, at a single site, so a relatively low level of evidence. When it is reproduced by independent researchers at multiple sites there will be stronger evidence!

RIGHT YOU ARE Kay p. That’s why I don’t trust what the loud mouths say here since they have a TRACK RECORD of idiocy.

Only “True Dhiarrea Mouth Ignorants” would Resort to Name Calling Others Whom they don’t know from a Hill of beans of Being Idiots..

It was said we would rather have questions we can’t answer than answers we can not question.


@Kay p

Now here is someone who understands the scientific method. Well said, sir!

Scientists have learned over the centuries, through long and often bitter experience, that appeals to authority have no place in proving or disproving a theorem. That’s not to say that scientists don’t succumb to appeals to authority, because they’re human just like everyone else. But at least they are taught the folly of doing so!

We could point to many errors in science over the centuries due to a wrong-headed appeal to authority, including the dismissal by geologists of Alfred Wegener’s “Continental Drift” theory of 1912, which was thoroughly vindicated in the 1960s. Geologists dismissed the rather compelling evidence presented by Wegener just because he could not come up with a valid mechanism for pushing the continents to and fro.

Age might be the problem. Believe me his mental acuity is nowhere near what it was.

His mind working at 1/3 power eclipses your pea brain by magnitudes.

I believe YOURS isn’t. He uses his brain.

He’s one of very few battery researchers whose name people like you and I can recognize. But I doubt any of us has the slightest clue how to evaluate his level of expertise. In any case, in science it is the weight of the evidence, not the author, that counts. And with my weight, I’d be a great scientist if it wasn’t so 🙂

Its not that surprising. other than you are keeping up with YOUR track record – that of saying easily disproven things. All you have to do is watch Phil Swift’s claim of FLEXGLUE on the TV saying that his product not only dries while immersed in water – it actually forms a STRONGER bond with time.

Since you know nothing about this (I and I’m sure others at least have a few semesters of College Chemistry under our belts), you are hardly in a position to critique what is SURELY an accomplishment.

The fact the thing takes a charge AT ALL is enough for me to see this is a GREAT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE.

I wouldn’t expect you to realize the significance of it, but you certainly have no reticence to insult and disparage things in which you are totally clueless.

Dude, you’re getting spittle on my screen. I understand it must be quite embarrassing for you to be shown to be wrong so frequently by someone who isn’t an electrical engineer, as you claim to be, and who understands EV tech and engineering better than you do, altho I’ve never owned a single EV and you’ve owned several.

But your rants are merely tiresome, they are never informed, nor do they ever display critical thinking on your part. Someone who believes in an astonishing diversity of conspiracy theories, and who once posted “Seeing as water is the most efficacious GreenHouseGas, someone better drain the Atlantic and Pacific oceans before they have to worry about the ‘trace’ gas CO2”… [link below, for anyone who doubts Mr. Howland actually posted that]

…someone whose connection with reality is that tenuous has no business trying to “correct” anyone else in any matter of science or tech.

A 63 year old should never use the word ‘DUDE’. It wasn’t part of your generation to use that term; In fact, I’m shown to be RARELY wrong and I always immediately state “I stand corrected” when it is found I make a mis-statement. But your paragraphs appear to have been written by someone under 10 years old. Your quote was a ‘truthful’ joke – meant to bring a smile to people’s faces, but you can’t see that since you have no sense of humor. You would first really have to prove that water isn’t the most efficacious greenhouse gas, but that is above your pay grade. Although I have made a few hard and fast prodictions, instead of the blathered drivel that you constantly vomit. Namely, the next few years would be colder, and that also it would be an ‘interesting’ time for volcanoes. You’ll just say I got lucky since Hawaii was dormant at the time I related the predictions. Oh and if they click on your link – supposedly to embarrass me, and read a few of my comments further down – you will see where I quote very prestigious scientists for NASA and others who have… Read more »

Yes, water is a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The experts have long been aware of this and it is fully accounted for in theory.

This really isn’t the place to discuss the details.

It is. But so what? The water in the atmosphere is evaporation, and a feedback effect. We cannot turn that lever because physics. CO2 is still the root cause, and increased CO2 cause temperature to rise causing more evaporation causing higher temperature causing more evaporation… This is why there’s so much talk about climate sensitivity – it’s about figuring out how GHG directly AND indirectly affects temperature.

I actually agree this isn’t the place and I think we’re “on the same side” here (the side that is concerned, accepts climate science, and thinks more should be done to reduce the CO2-intensity of our economies). But just stating water is a more powerful GHG than CO2 without mentioning that CO2 (and methane, mainly) is what determines how much there is of it risks giving people a very misleading impression.

If you predicted it would get colder, you didn’t get lucky but proven wrong.

And if you are predicting single years ahead you’re engaged in weather forecasting, not climate.

Uh CHIEF: The future hasn’t happened yet. Although the globe hasn’t increased in temperature for the last 18 years. There are some complicating factors which cannot be discussed here due to the loudmouths. Haven’t checked Wikipedia, but ANYONE can say ANYTHING there – I know since I’m a Wikipedia Author myself, having written a substantial portion of “Linotype Machine”.

“Although the globe hasn’t increased in temperature for the last 18 years.”

Hard to fathom how anyone can be so spectacularly wrong. The 4 hottest years on record were the last 4:

“In fact, I’m shown to be RARELY wrong and I always immediately state “I stand corrected” when it is found I make a mis-statement.”

I’ll expect you to respond in a correct manner.

Nope. Research Climate-Gate. Numbers were Fudged.

But you can jump up and down all you want. People in general are not going for it. Its currently about 20th on the list of concerns by the typical american.

THAT, for you guys, is going in the wrong direction. It is getting to be like a “Car Alarm” in the neighborhood constantly blaring that everyone ignores.

Your info also flies in the face of what most people experience. Localized hot weather is also partially due to complications that I don’t discuss here since the loud mouths will jump all over it without researching it themselves.

In my area, this past April was the coldest in memory – Proof being my Solar Output was substantially decreased this year since I had an ENTIRE month of no solar output due to bad snowstorms we experienced – when typical is only 1 day’s worth of snow for the entire month. Admittedly this was a somewhat localized issue since weather 150 miles east in Syracuse was relatively normal.

People aren’t that dumb. They know what they personally experience.

That’s my correct manner of response.

A comparison between the ‘raw’ and ‘adjusted’ data in this example is quite illuminating.. The 1940-1975 raw data also JIBE with the weather in Buffalo, NY where I live. The ‘adjusted data’ by comparison, does not.

Bill Howard – You said: “In my area, this past April was the coldest in memory” – I ask, why is that of any importance. Tell me what the average global temperature was for April this year as compared to previous 30 april’s.

Weather is a short-term event (April), climate is long-term trend (30 years). Why don’t you know this?

“Research Climate-Gate. Numbers were Fudged” –

Except, no they weren’t, you silly uninformed fool. Go see:
Culture Clash at NOAA Led to a Flap Over Warming Pause Study


Science publishes new NOAA analysis:

NOW, it’s YOUR turn to supply a link to the peer reviewed, published (not a blog), Scientific study that refutes this.

But you can’t, because there isn’t one (or ANY), IS there. Did you read the information at the sites I supplied?

You are a full of crap, know nothing idiot.

Wait, I’m sorry for name calling, but it’s so easy to find accurate information, I sometimes get upset with those who don’t take the time to find the truth, and blindly repeat the B.S. Just read the science.

Yup , I know nothing about absolutely anything.. Next…..

That’s not true.

You just know nothing about climate, and refuse to apply logic and reason when it comes to that subject.

I don’t mislead people like you do with your Doctor of Philosophy holder Dr. Tim Ball comment. He’s only one person after all. I mentioned 10 others. But there are plenty others besides them.. But the only reason I’m typing this is because Pushi cannot argue the point I made, just bringing up something from the distant past which HE THOUGHT will ‘hang’ me so to speak. When others here AGREED with me on that point I was making (they could hardly do otherwise, since the qualifications of some of the guys are impeccable and ALL are LEARNED), he quickly dummy-ed up.

I’m just dealing with the ‘entrails’ of the comments on a subject I never bring up any more since its pointless to deal with anyone who hasn’t personally researched anything.

Oh, and true to your word – YOU WILL NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR MAKING A MISLEADING COMMENT – namely implying that Dr. Tim Ball is not the true expert he surely is – his PhD in Climatology from a prestigious university surely proves it.

Confirmed by luminary Beckett.

Just checked the wiki link: What a bunch of nonsense. Everyone knows the “Medieval Warm Period” was considerably warmer than it is today. It was warm enough to commonly make wine (grow grapes) in London, proof of which is seen today by the many street names with some sort of “Vine” or “Vineyard” in them. And catholic scholar St. Thomas Aquinas stated the southern coast of Greenland was ‘Green’ – something which it is currently not.

“Everyone knows the “Medieval Warm Period” was considerably warmer than it is today”

The “medieval warm period” is a climate denier favourite. In reality, it was mostly localized around the North Atlantic.

Here is some more info, which is on Wikipedia, but taken from relevant scientific research:

“Further analysis of the bulk compilation of all paleoclimatology studies that were done in various areas around the globe appear to indicate a global trend of warming, particularly in the northern and southern peaks but less towards the equator. More recently, a study by the Pages-2k consortium suggests the warming was not globally synchronous: “Our regional temperature reconstructions also show little evidence for globally synchronized multi-decadal shifts that would mark well-defined worldwide MWP and LIA intervals. Instead, the specific timing of peak warm and cold intervals varies regionally, with multi-decadal variability resulting in regionally specific temperature departures from an underlying global cooling trend.”

And since you appear not to be liking wikipedia a lot. Here’s something from britannica:

“The notion of a medieval warm period is highly controversial. Many paleoclimatologists claim that well-documented evidence for the phenomenon appears across the North Atlantic region, while others maintain that the phenomenon was global, occurring all over the world. Still other scientists insist that their data do not show appreciable changes in average temperature anywhere over the course of the interval. Meanwhile, global warming skeptics have used the MWP to bolster their position in the debate over the nature and effects of climate change.”

So no, it is not a case of ‘Everyone knows”. It’s actually pretty certain it was a localized event centered around the North Atlantic.

I like wikipedia ‘a lot’. And they like me, seeing as they thanked me for my contribution toward Linotype Machine.

Dr. Tim Ball from the University of Winnipeg states that Ice core sample records prove we are currently living in the COLDEST 3% of temperatures, since the last Ice Age, not the Hottest. So excessive worry regarding small temperature changes (whether localized or global) is just that – excessive.

LOL you’re using Tim Ball as your authority? He’s been part of many right wing, Exxon-funded think tanks, and his pseudoscience has been torn to shreds:

He makes the same data error that Easterbrook did in the claim you repeated (along with Monckton and many other clueless deniers):

His position is that all scientific data after 1970 is invalid due to the “AGW conspiracy”. He praises Trump’s cuts to science. He uses single location data (like you do) to disprove global warming. He has no expertise in climatology, even though deniers have false claimed he was the first climatology PhD in Canada.

He has zero credibility except among desperate denialists. Quite honestly, you’ve lost all credibility, too.

I’m just mentioning different people. In fact this all goes back to Pushi trying to defame me on an unrelated topic – this whole discussion thread links back to his attempted ‘defamation’. There, I listed 11 people (including Dr. Tim Ball, who was smart enough to get hired by the University of Winnipeg).

You guys usually mention Al Gore, and Jim Hensen. And now DiCaprio I suppose even if that guy is even less qualified than John Q. Public to be a source authority.

And you guys NEVER argue the facts… You always get hung up on personalities. But, no matter. You guys can jump up and down, and be as insulting as you wish because in the final analysis as I’ve previously stated, you are getting less and less people paying attention to your more and more extreme point of view- mainly because the ‘EARTH’ isn’t cooperating as you think it should. That no doubt explains why you cannot support a level-headed discussion.

Oh please, you’re the one ignoring the facts.

I just give you two fact laden links that show how ridiculous it is to say “we are currently living in the COLDEST 3% of temperatures”. The guy who first made that argument not only based it on ice cores from one location, but also misread the data point for 1855 to be present day.

Tim Ball was hired by the University of Winnipeg as a professor of geography, and became a vocal critic of AGW right around the time he retired.

You’re so delusional. You really think “the ‘EARTH’ isn’t cooperating” with AGW theory? Remember how in 2008 people like you were talking about a cooling trend, and how it disproved AGW? You got a great cherry-picked downward slope from 1998 to 2008.

What happened since with temperatures recorded from satellites (i.e. none of the denier arguments about surface stations apply)? Suddenly the warming evidence came back!

You just make strawman arguments — e.g. “you guys NEVER argue the facts” immediately after I present a bunch of facts — which is why scientists have no respect for people like you, and are unable to have a level-headed discussion.

Hahaha! What an ass-wipe argument…Talk about delusional.

He has a Bachelor’s in Geography and a Mere PhD in Climatology.

The future hasn’t happened yet. Although the globe hasn’t increased in temperature for the last 18 years. There are some complicating factors which cannot be discussed here due to the loudmouths. Haven’t checked Wikipedia, but ANYONE can say ANYTHING there – I know since I’m a Wikipedia Author myself, having written a substantial portion of “Linotype Machine”.

Bill Howerd – “Although the globe hasn’t increased in temperature for the last 18 years” – I give up. You don’t accept published, peer reviewed Science.

My car is white in colour. You say it’s Red in colour. Seventeen thousand people circle the car and after inspection, say the car is White. You continue to say it’s Red. We’re done. I’ve got no more. I give up, but you loose. You remain a fool. I’m done

IEV’s again preventing me from listing factual commentary.

No one prevented it. The filter moderated for some reason. I was flying to Paris and didn’t have access. I approved as soon as i arrived. Sorry.

Have another Drink ! ………..lmao

The paper is in JACS. I’ve published quite a few papers in JACS, so here’s my take: It is a certainty that the editor of JACS recognized IMMEDIATELY how important the paper was, as did the associate editor who actually handled the paper (BTW, the JACS editors are better and tougher than the “sexier” Science and Nature editors who handle a broader range of scientific content). I’ll bet any amount of money that the associate editor sent this paper to highly qualified referees and, judging from the reasonable – but not too long – time period that elapsed between date recieved and date published (March 1 to April 24), the paper was recommended for publication unanimously by three referees – the time elapsed doesn’t seem to be long enough for the editor to have needed to go out to another referee to settle any dispute. I’m also guessing that all three referees are better qualified than you to judge the merits of the paper. None of this means that the paper may not be flawed, but since you have not actually criticized any specific claims or data presented in the paper – and a link to it IS provided –… Read more »

OK here, I question this claim:
“The increase of capacity, and therefore of the energy density, with increasing cycle number eventually gives a capacity that is greater than the theoretical capacity of the oxide host cathode particles.”
The paper does not explain how an EDLC formed by a LMNO cathode can achieve “increasing alignment of the dipoles in the electrolyte”.

I hope this pans out, just as I hope the EM Drive pans out. Both will make great technology leaps for mankind. Like this paper, that technology was published in not one, but multiple scientific publications, so if anything, one must lend more credence to that than this.

Thanks for the added insight into the Journal’s publishing process. Appreciated.

“…it’s a cheap shot to compare the article to anything in The Journal of Irreproducible Results.”

Apparently I failed to communicate my point clearly. The Journal of Irreproducible Results is scientific humor, and my reference to it was a joke. You are taking the subject far too seriously.

Even the most distinguished scientists in a field can make elementary errors. Look at Heisenberg and the atomic bomb, for example. His calculations were (thankfully!) off by an order of magnitude due to a simple error in math, one which none of his German colleagues caught. And even the most knowledgeable peer reviewers for the most distinguished journal in the entire world have no way of judging the accuracy of claims submitted. The best they can do is make a judgement about the robustness of methodology and technique.

If merely reviewing a paper was sufficient to judge the claims therein, then we wouldn’t need to have important discoveries verified independently by other labs, now would we?

It may be a humorous way to say it, but what it says is clearly something like ” there’s no way this is a legitimate result, nobody will ever successfully reproduce it”. Therefore all of his criticism stands.

What’s so extraordinary about it? The specific capacity is not that impressive, and there’s no hint at all how many more cycles it would continue to increase, or at what rate. The graph tops out at 600 Wh/kg, but my mobile phone battery tops that. The fact capacity was really low at the beginning makes for a huge percentage increase, but given that a material can have this property, that capacity may increase when charged and discharged, means the material is changing – and sooner or later it must converge towards a maximum density. If it then didn’t degrade, that’s the state you’d want to produce it in, since you definitely don’t want to have to put hundreds of cycles on it before you get the full performance. Fuel is nearly 10 kWh/kg, and there’s no known physical reason a battery cannot in theory be as energy dense. The ordinary understanding of what a battery is is just a device that stores electrical energy by separation of charge. Applying your expectations to a fundamentally different kind of battery, one using glass for electrolyte, because both are batteries, is stupid, kind of like applying the speed-of- sound limit that applies to… Read more »

“The graph tops out at 600 Wh/kg, but my mobile phone battery tops that.”
The graph is using mAh/g not Wh/kg. For comparison NCA cathode is around 190mAh/g I believe. I also am not aware of any mobile phone battery that is higher than either 600 Wh/kg or 600 mAh/g.

Few months ago you reported some research on the LEAF battery which contained a similar claim. The 24 KWh battery was found to be improving with mileage. This little miracle went unnoticed under the headline that the 30 KWh battery degrades faster than the 24 KWh. From that paper:

“for every 10,000 km that a 24 kWh Leaf had traveled above the mean for a given age, SoH increased by 0.3%”

The main headline was that the 30kwh battery is a junk battery compared to the 24 kwh model. THAT fact has been sufficiently proven.

I have both batteries in two different Nissan Leafs : 2013 ( 24 kWh 3/13 build date ) and a 2016 ( 30 kWh 10/15 build date), and NO, “THAT fact” which you claim, is Not the case, in my particular use situation.

Bill knows better because he has experience with neither, ok?

No, bill knows better since bill can read graphical data. You want to claim that the data published here at IEV’s is incorrect? Come up with the new data before you start throwing snowballs ok?

‘William’ if you have data to disprove the graphical data set forth by IEV’s, lets see it.

I want to claim that the data is incredibly weak, having been sourced from end users (selection bias), analysed by students, not reviewed, not published, and resting on the assumption that LEAF Spy data is reliable (with zero attempt to find out).

I’d agree there’s reason to worry that the battery may not be great, but no solid evidence. And it’s a limited concern, mainly for the future, since loads of LEAF owners with the 30 kWh version appear to notice no degradation at all. That’s also weak evidence; there could be many disgruntled people who are silent, or the cars may be used so little for long trips that they don’t notice it. But what you said didn’t look like it was very seriously meant, and doesn’t deserve betting taken seriously.


You are rightly annoyed by his unfounded and exaggerated characterization. But then proceed to make similar mistakes yourself. Not having noticed anything major isn’t a scientific examination. You can presumably say whether your particular car suffers from a noticeable problem, but that’s the extent of it. What you see on the instrument panel isn’t a good guide because the manufacturers try to provide practically useful information, not objective facts. This isn’t unique to EVs either. If you ever use a fossil car, notice the fuel meter after refuelling. In most cars it remains at full for over a hundred kilometres, yet it shows empty after, say, five hundred. The manufacturer does that on purpose, and it gives you a more accurate reading because the full scale of the instrument is mapped to only part of the actual range of values. It isn’t really empty when it shows empty either, to give you a bit of margin for error should you embark on something slightly too optimistic. Same in your LEAF (and mine). The temperature meter just let’s me know if it’s getting too hot or cold, no actual temperature. The battery shows 100% to 0% but never charges to 100%… Read more »

Again I listen to things that have the ring of truth. I never bought a Nissan since when I read over the Battery Warranty – I found that Nissan was essentially legally not responsible for ANYTHING. But so many people in Tucson, Arizona were considering Class Action that if finally moved Nissan off the dime. Their engineers also laughed off the 2011 volt’s system, saying it was overly complicated for what was required.

So when IEVs publishes charts showing less than stellar performance, its not that much of a stretch for me.

I’ve caught you in significant errors in the past (mostly in electrical distribution statements, which is my forte), and you have not shown why the data is the slightest bit suspect. When I claim data is misleading or flat-out wrong I always provide corroboration, as I did with Wiki’s silly temperature graphs.

As Elon Musk said, there’s more BS in the battery industry than anywhere else. Tesla is easily the biggest company to benefit from battery tech improvements. As JB Straubel (CTO at Tesla) has said If there is a new battery technology in the world, they will know about it. They test a lot of new stuff and most of it doesn’t work. All these claims of new batteries, Tesla have said “just send us a battery prototype” but rarely does anyone do that. Until a new battery tech goes into production, I don’t pay attention to it.

Elon Musk also said that they made a breakthrough that’ll let them hit $100/kWh soon. That’s the first time I remember him using the word “breakthrough” for batteries. Most of the time he says they aren’t needed.

But since he referenced 30% improvement, it would be a small breakthrough.

A lot of lab work has to be done before building a prototype of anything. Of course Tesla isn’t directly interested in anything prior to the prototype stage. There is no guarantee they’ll ever be able to buy one, so why build a product around it? At the same time, you know Tesla is watching the labs to see what type of future we may have.

Tesla is and has been working with Goodenough as we Ignorantly Discharge “Dhiarrea of the Mouth” ……

Why should they send it to them? To get the “Musk label of approval”? Or even more important the “Mil label of approval”! If someone doesn’t believe them, they should be able to recreate the experiment and see for themselves.

Scientific results are reviewed by peers, not pears…

Quite correct, this doesn’t need Tesla’s stamp of approval. But this is at the laboratory demo stage, not even remotely approaching the commercial tech stage. If and when it is developed into something that might be commercialized — which is extremely unlikely to happen, even if the claims in this article are true — then and only then would it be appropriate to send a sample to Tesla for testing.

I disagree; it seems very likely that Tesla would be very interested in prototypes of all sorts. Even something like this which is just at the proof-of-concept demo unit level can be very important. As the lab, I would not wait; Tesla might be willing to spend R&D money in order to license the battery, if they are convinced the progress is real and significant.

As jamcl3 pointed out: “The energy density in that graph is only for the cathode, so it is difficult to translate it into cell energy density.” I seriously doubt Tesla is interested in testing just the cathode for a hypothetical cell. Here’s what Musk had to say on the subject: “My top advice really for anyone who says they’ve got some breakthrough battery technologies, please send us a sample cell, okay, don’t send us PowerPoint. Just send us one cell that works with all appropriate caveats; that would be great. That… sorts out the nonsense and the claims that aren’t actually true. Talk is super cheap; the battery industry has to have more B.S. in it than any industry I’ve ever encountered. It’s insane.” — Elon Musk, Nov. 5, 2014 Even if the claims presented here are entirely true, what good does it do Tesla? None whatsoever. Tesla can’t use just the cathodes for batteries to power their cars! Now, Panasonic might be interested in a breakthrough cathode… if it actually works, if it can be commercially produced at a reasonable cost, and if — if — it has the properties needed to be incorporated into cells of a type… Read more »

“They test a lot of new stuff…”
I assume you mean batteries, I have seen no evidence of this, their supplier is Panasonic, Tesla is not a battery development company.

Tesla develop batteries in their skunkworks level 2 Gigafactory. They financed a lab at Dalhousie for their consultant Dr Dahn who has a leading algorithm Coulomb efficiency test. They employ his Doctoral graduates like Smith to develop and access chemistry. They hold patents for cell development.

Mr. Snake Oil held up as the guardian of truth? That’s something.

So these go into grid storage BEFORE going into a car… nice twist.

That would be a first! Joking aside, it would be incredible for a car to get better as it ages.

John Goodenough is the real deal, and should get a Nobel prize soon (he is 95) for inventing practically every lithium chemistry in commercial use today. (Him and his graduate students no doubt.) The energy density in that graph is only for the cathode, so it is difficult to translate it into cell energy density. If the cathode is 10% of the cell mass and nominal cell voltage is 4 V, then it has comparable energy density to today’s commercial Lithium Ion cells. But I have no idea if the mass assumption is anywhere close, the abstract indicates the cell voltage could be higher. “”329 cycles tested during 13 consecutive months” suggests a very low power, even if energy is high. A ‘Li+ glass electrolyte’ suggests stationary applications to me, not mobile.

Actually, as I understand, he is more like a sponsor and public face for the project, the original idea comes from Helena Braga.

Of course, he probably contributes many ideas and steering for the research effort.

Yes, definitely Braga’s work which she started before connecting with Goodenough. He comes to work every day and contributes more than just his name, though.

This claim would be outstanding, if scaled up and proven, but even Dr Goodenough gets a “Trust, but verify” on this one.

That would lead to weird scenarios, where a car with more mileage could actually be worth more. lol

I remain very skeptical. No doubt solid state batteries are on the horizon but no one is talking about the fact that current technologies are good enough for cars and trucks. It’s been good for the last 10 years and will be good for another 10 years. It’s just a matter of using economies of scale at this point. Only one that is really serious about this and is actively doing it is Tesla. If these solid state batteries come out at +400 w/kg and <$50 kwh, there will be a revolution where you will have aircraft and ships start to go electric, that would be very exiting.

“economies of scale at this point..”
Tesla/Panasonic are far along that curve now.

Nope. EVs are barely 1% of market. At 100% adoption we need 100 fold increase in production capacity… thatll mean batteries will be potentially 1/4 to 1/10 current cost.. death blow to ICE… Imagine Model 3 80Kwh pack being $2500 or less. This is something that can happen NOW with current technology. Elon said himself he needs 10 gigafactories… hes barely got one now and its only partially producing.

Maybe they started the first cycle in the winter, and continue the tests into summer? My Clarity’s mileage keeps increasing because of that 🙂

Even assuming all these claims pan out, we’re still quite a distance from a commercial mass market product. Scalability, producibility, life span at scale, usability in real world applications (how will this do in Minnesota winters and Arizona summers?), and economic viability have yet to be shown. This may be the basis for battery tech for the next century, or it may be a flash in the pan; no way to know at this point.

Indeed. Back on the (now defunct) TheEEStory forum, we used to see about one new breathless, wide-eyed claim for a breakthrough battery tech every two weeks. In the years I spent on that forum, of all the claims posted and discussed there, only a single one turned out to be commercialized, and that was merely LG Chem’s claim for a somewhat lower-priced li-ion battery, with perhaps the ability to cycle at a fractionally deeper depth of discharge. That’s a very marginal breakthrough compared to the one claimed here!

Someday we will see the next true breakthrough in battery tech. But it’s very unlikely that you or I will be able to recognize it just by reading an article like this, or even from reading the article in the scientific journal. The path from laboratory discovery to commercial product is usually long, difficult, full of twists and turns, and almost always fails.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

” In the years I spent on that forum, ”

OK, that explains you……..LMAO

I resemble that remark. 😉

Ron Swanson's Mustache

The original paper is hosted here:

Unfortunately, it’s behind a paywall and the abstract is over my head (and probably the head of anyone who doesn’t have a degree in chemistry), but from what I do see, they are reporting interesting results. Given Goodenough’s track record, I wouldn’t dismiss this out of hand, and I would hope that other research academics will follow their lead and attempt to replicate their experiments and results.

Even if this does turn out to be true, it’s still a long way from being proven out as something that is economically viable, but I expect there’s more reason to be optimistic in this case than in a lot of other cases.

It’s certainly worthy of further experimentation, and verification by independent laboratories. That is a lot more than you can say about far too many breathless, wide-eyed claims for breakthrough battery tech! The fact the experimental results were published in a peer-reviewed science journal puts it several notches in significance above the average claim, and does rate an article here at IEVs.

Rates it far more, in my opinion, than claims not backed by evidence, such the claims for a breakthrough battery from the Dyson vacuum cleaner company, which have received more than one IEVs article.

Active material at the cathode does not translate to six times capacity at the cell.

Imagine an electric car that increases in value with more mileage..

I am optimistic and hopeful that I can see it in the next 10 years in commercially affordable form. This could be the end of ICE age.

Pretty bizarre claims. I don’t know…this is a very old guy, maybe vulnerable. What if a bunch of opportunists is tagging him along abusing his reputation for some sort investor defraud scheme? Since investors have been burned by battery cons too many times using a great name might be the ticket to pull off one more con.

It’s nice to see that the Battery Breakthrough Baloney detectors at InsideEVs is finally working!

Interesting that the axis of the graph is “mAh/g”, and not “Wh/g” or some other sort of energy measurement.

So my question is: what happens to the cell voltage from cycle to cycle? Does the cell voltage stay constant, or does it actually decrease?

Excellent question, and like most “battery breakthroughs”, there is something they are not saying, as the reason it’s not being raced into production today. There is some negative, that needs to be resolved.

Could be something as simple, as not being able to mass produce.

Good point. Along with that, what OTHER properties change over charge cycles on this chemistry/arrangement? Does it get more unstable (thermal runaway)? Does the charge/discharge rate suffer?
Even if the capacity were to just remain flat, 23,000 cycles at 2x per day is 31.5 years! I’ll take a battery that doesn’t degrade for over 30 years.

I read the abstract that someone posted the link to. They charged to 5V and discharged to 2.5V. This will be amazing if true.

Certainly, the authors are the “A Team” as far as lithium batteries are concerned. Another thing to follow with interest.

Goodenough’s 2017 interview below is instructional in assessing the merits of his opinion and grounding on state of the art LiIon batteries and his current potential for contributing to a better chemistry:

“I have not followed the market that much…”
“as far as an electric vehicle is concerned, you will not get the volumetric energy density that you need – you can use it for a hybrid car but not for an all electric car.”
“when Tesla makes a battery for a car with 7000 cells he has to manage those 7000 cells and that management system is as expensive as the battery it self, and it does not have the cycle life so after 2 years you have to pay another $28000 to get a new battery”.


Does Mr. Goodenough believe the Tesla battery Management System lasts only 2 years?

It just proves he’s just a battery guy with an extremely narrow focus. He’s assuming the cells are being charged and discharged 100% like most cell phones do. But if you have an oversized battery and only deplete 10-20% a day, the thing will practically last forever.

I just started checking battery technology a couple of days ago. But even in 2 days I have learned enough to doubt that these claims could really be true. I checked out the JACS paper since I thought that this page on might just be fake news. But it all seems to be true. John Goodenough wouldn’t lend his name to this paper if the findings were incorrect. But I remain incredulous. What the authors are claiming here is the holy grail for battery developers. If this is all it is claimed to be then there must be billions of dollars queuing for the rights to start manufacturing. It would save Tesla’s arse just to get started… So what’s the catch? Why hasn’t this been breaking news on all the world media?