The Department of Energy's Battery500 consortium announced its list of 15 new projects promising battery technology advancements in July, and who also received more than $5.7 million in seed funding.

2170 Cells for the upcoming Tesla Model 3

2170 Cells for the upcoming Tesla Model 3

The goal of the Battery500 project is to jump-start technologies that could ultimately lead to 500 Wh/kg+ energy density cells - a level seen as part of the "Holy Grail" for widespread EV adoption.

During the next 18-months (phase 1) awardees will show proof of thier technologies, and then will be down-selected for further financing.

"The new projects are the first to be funded through the consortium, which is led by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and involves multiple partners at universities and other national labs. The new seedling projects were announced July 12 as part of a larger unveiling of a total of $19.4 million in new DOE funding for vehicle technologies research.

The new consortium projects are called seedling projects because they involve new, potentially risky battery technologies that could pay off big and grow into significant energy storage solutions. The most promising of the new projects will be competitively down-selected after 18 months.

Battery500 seeks to develop lithium-metal batteries that have more than double the specific energy found in batteries that power today's electric cars. Specific energy measures the amount of energy packed into a battery based on its weight.

Batteries with higher specific energies will allow electric vehicles (EVs) to drive farther on a single charge, as well as weigh and cost less. The consortium aims to build a battery cell with a specific energy of 500 watt-hours per kilogram, compared to the 170-200 watt-hours per kilogram in today's typical EV battery."

"The Battery500 project is focused on three keystone projects:

  • A high nickel content cathode with a Li-metal anode;
  • Sulfur cathode and Li-metal anode; and
  • Innovative electrode and cell design."

Battery500 Seedling Projects – Phase 1 awards (Area of Interest 1)

University of Maryland: College Park - $400,000

Research innovative iron-based materials for high energy cathodes for high energy lithium ion battery technologies.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - $400,000 Research thick cathodes using freeze casting methods for solid-state lithium batteries.

Penn State University Park - $399,194 Research multifunctional Li-ion conducting interfacial materials that enable high- performance lithium metal anodes.

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc. - $400,000 Research a scalable synthesis to enable very thin coatings on solid state electrolyte membranes to enable high performance Li-Sulfur Battery.

University of Maryland: College Park - $400,000 Using 3D printed, low tortuosity frameworks, develop solid state Li-ion batteries.

General Motors LLC - $400,000 Design, engineer, develop, and integrate pouch-format cells for lithium-sulfur batteries to achieve high energy density and long cycle life.

University of Pittsburgh - $400,000 Research sulfur electrodes utilizing lithium ion conductor (LIC) coatings for high energy density advanced lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries.

Cornell University - $360,000 Research highly loaded sulfur cathodes and conductive carbon coated separators that enable high energy batteries.

University of Maryland: College Park - $400,000 Research advanced electrolytes to limit dendrite growth in lithium-metal cells.

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station - $400,000 Utilize an analytical and experimental approach to examine the interface between solid state electrolytes and lithium-metal anodes and identify potential methods for mitigating dendrite growth.

Navitas Advanced Solutions Group, LLC - $400,000 Research a solvent-free process to fabricate all-solid Li batteries.

Wayne State University - $225,000 Research novel full-cell, ultra high-energy Li- metal batteries based on 3-dimensional architectures.

Oregon State University - $353,500 Research and develop a new process to produce Li2S@graphene composite cathodes to inhibit polysulfides to enhance cycle life.

SUNY University at Stony Brook - $400,000 Research li-sulfur batteries using a novel sulfur rich nanosheet composite cathode.

University of Houston - $400,000

Research high-energy solid-state lithium batteries with organic cathode materials.

source: Green Car Congress