Sion Power, the Arizona-based company acquired by BASF in 2012, announced that production of its groundbreaking Licerion lithium batteries will begin in late 2018 at its Tucson facility.

Sion Power's next generation cells: 400 Wh/kg, 700 Wh/L and 350 cycles under 1C discharge condition

Sion Power's next generation cells: 400 Wh/kg, 700 Wh/L and 350 cycles under 1C discharge condition

Sion Power developed 20 Ah cells (10 cm x 10 cm x 1 cm) with metallic lithium thin film anode (and traditional lithium-ion intercalation cathode) that substantially increases energy density compared to what's available on the market today:

  • 500 Wh/kg
  • 1,000 Wh/L
  • 450 cycles
The number of  charging cycles is lower than in current electric car batteries, but it's partially offset by the high energy density (so a higher capacity pack needs less full cycles).

Sion Power targets unmanned aerial vehicles and electric vehicles among many applications and envisions first deliveries to selected partners by the end of 2018.

We are not sure whether the capabilities and prices will be competitive for electric cars as there is no spec sheet available, but with backing from BASF it's at least credible.

"Sion Power, a leading developer of lithium battery technology, announced today production will begin on their patented Licerion rechargeable lithium metal battery in late 2018 from its Tucson facility. The Licerion rechargeable lithium metal technology will offer the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and electric vehicle (EV) markets an unparalleled 500 Wh/kg, 1,000 Wh/L, and 450 cycles when released."

"Individual Licerion cells, with dimensions of 10 cm x 10 cm x 1 cm, have a capacity of 20 Ah and offer the highest combination of energy density and specific energy available. At the core of Licerion technology is a protected metallic lithium thin film anode with multiple levels of physical and chemical protection to enhance the safety and life of lithium metal anodes. These anodes are paired with traditional lithium-ion intercalation cathodes."

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Tracy Kelley, Chief Executive Officer of Sion Power said:

“Over the last decade Sion Power, and our research partner BASF, have strategically focused on meticulous research and development of a next generation lithium battery. The result of our team's efforts will be seen in a safe lithium metal battery that is in a class by itself. We are on track to deliver product to a select group of partners by the end of 2018.”