Claims of battery breakthroughs are a dime a dozen. Normally such claims contain caveats such as “almost”, “soon”, “5-10 years” or they have undisclosed “challenges” to “overcome”.
Editor's Note: This articles comes to InsideEVs by way of community member Joseph Bonham, who is also the automotive contributor at creativegreenliving.com. Our thanks to Joseph for the interesting look into solid state batteries.
Amy Prieto, however, doesn't seem to be using this language. She claims to have developed a low cost, non-toxic, easily scalable, three dimensional copper foam version of a Lithium-Ion battery with “power densities reaching 14,000 W/L while maintaining energy densities of 650 Wh/L.” Supposedly, it has no traditional separator, has long cycle life, charges quickly and doesn't over heat. For our purposes here, her video pitch mentions applications in “hybrids” and her website references “EVs”.
Prieto can't share the names of the strategic partners that are showing interest, but she sees her battery's ultrastable chemistry as a perfect initial match for the military's unmanned submersibles, which can't use standard lithium-ion packs because of the fire hazard. And the company plans to get its 3D solid-state cells into a limited number of consumer applications by 2016.
These are the best-case scenarios, of course, and assume breakthroughs that have nothing to do with science. "You can imagine why this was challenging to pitch to investors in the beginning," Prieto says. "On the one hand they want transformational approaches. But it is very hard to quantify, in terms of time and resources, how long it will take to make a major discovery." Now there's no more guessing. "I'm really excited," Prieto says. "The major discoveries are done."
This same article says that they have “cracked the final problem.”
Perhaps this Colorado State University professor is just a really savvy salesperson. But she even has a “small pilot production line” that uses “highly modular manufacturing techniques” designed to teach companies how to try out the technology before diving into a full blown plant.
What’s your take? Is this Envia and high voltage Lithium-Ion 2.0 all over again?