Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Invest In 5-Minute Battery Charge Startup Enevate

NOV 14 2018 BY MARK KANE 22

Extreme fast charging is promised.

Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has participated in the latest round of funding in Enevate Corporation, a battery start-up based in Irvine, California.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is just another high-profile investor – right after LG Chem in October – which makes us think that Enevate really has something feasible in the works.

Enevate promises that its silicon-dominant lithium-ion cells combines several advantages:

  • extreme fast-charging capabilities (can be charged to 75% capacity in five minutes)
  • high energy density for long-range EVs (around 250-300 Wh/kg)
  • can also safely charge and discharge down to -40°C and capture more energy during regenerative braking
  • low cost
  • improved safety

Enevate intends to licenses its silicon-dominant HD-Energy Technology to battery and car manufacturers that will launch volume production.

The list of investors already includes: Mission Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tsing Capital, Infinite Potential Technologies, Presidio Ventures – a Sumitomo Corporation company, CEC Capital, Samsung, Lenovo, LG Chem, and the Alliance (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi).

Francois Dossa, Alliance Global Vice President, Ventures and Open Innovation, said:

“We are pleased to participate in Enevate’s latest funding round. This strategic investment allows us to support the development of Enevate proprietary cutting edge electrode technology. Continued development in this critical field will help us accelerate the electrification of our vehicles.”

Enevate President and CEO Robert A. Rango said:

“We share the common goal of making electric vehicles easier to use and adopt in mass markets. We look forward to our strategic partnership with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, as they are a global leader in electric vehicles and they understand the market needs of EV consumers worldwide.”

Bonus video: LG Chem has participated in Enevate’s recent funding

Categories: Battery Tech, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault

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22 Comments on "Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Invest In 5-Minute Battery Charge Startup Enevate"

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Enevate is a small company with a few people.
We had Envia which was suppose to change everything, they did not.

With so many companies and universities working on solid-state batteries and all the financial support they are receiving, I expect a major breakthrough soon. I won’t mind waiting 10 minutes for a recharge that will get me 200 more miles down the highway, as long as there are enough charging stations around to prevent panic-searching and waiting in line for a recharge.

So many fast charge possibilities now: enevate, ionic materials, store dot, quantumscape, fisker: surely one of them will get it right soon!

So lets do a little math

Say 100kWh battery

Say charge time of 5 minute

Therefore to charge in 5 minute requires 12 times the 60 minute rate

Therefore 100kW * 12 = 1.2MW

Remember power = I^2 * R causing losses to go sky high

Say 800V charging

Therefore 1,200,000W / 800V = 1500 amps, loots of places for I^2 * R loss

Also say a charging efficiency of 90% = 10% loss very optimistic at these currents

Therefore 10% loss of 1,200kW = 120kW, the car has to dump a lot of heat, but only for a 5 minutes.

Sounds like lots of thermal management problems to me.

Lots of assumptions in your calculations with no actual spec on this battery.
Increasing the voltage decreases the amperage proportionately – charging at higher than 800V is one way to reduce the high current.
Heat is another matter. This battery is silicone dominant, perhaps this helps with the heat management in some ways as silicone is an excellent heat insulator.
I’m sure there must be some promising tech in there somewhere. Big companies that invested in this little startup had to do their homework before dumping a lot of money.

Silicon — unlike silicone — is a good thermal conductor.

But that doesn’t matter either way. The amount of waste heat generated is only affected by *electrical* resistance.

Sure, let’s pick random numbers and do some math.
Say 60kWh battery (much more common than 100kWh)
Say charge time of 5 minutes to 75% (after all, that’s straight from the article).
Therefore 45kWh in 5 minutes is 540kW
Say 800V charging (since that is the current standard for the “350kW” chargers being installed)
Therefore 540kW / 800V = 675A

Notice that my number is less than half of yours?

Still a thermal management problem for sure, but let’s not blow this out of proportion.

50 kWh is over 150,000 BTU in just 5 minutes, that is a LOT of heat energy.

Is it? Is 150,000 Imperial British Thermal Units a lot of heat energy?

When it raises the battery cell core 100F it is.

Without knowing the R in that formula, guessing I doesn’t really tell us anything about losses…

I love how the “gas car” looks like a Leaf as well. In a way, it’s refreshing to see the EV shown as the “norm” rather than making the EV look like a gas car.

Conveniently no mention of cycle life, which is the one and only reason why silicon-rich anodes haven’t been viable thus far… Let’s hope they really have promising results on that front.

There is some discussion of cycle life on the downloadable info. sheet from enevate (dot) com at the bottom of the > Technology > High-energy-density tab.
But “The proof of the pudding is in the eating (thereof)” as they say.

“Higher Density for Up to 150% Greater Capacity
Enevate’s HD-Energy® Technology with silicon-dominant anodes enables Lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells with up to 50% higher capacity than conventional graphite cells.”
It is 50% greater capacity, NOT 150%.

I think the automakers are a bit too obsessed with making charge times comparable to filling up a gas tank. Most people charge slowly at home or work and only need faster charging on trips. Just get the time for 80% down to 15-20 minutes, which Tesla and others are already approaching at 30-40 minutes. To me this is more indication that legacy makers still don’t really “get it” when it comes to EV ownership and are still just waiting for the next breakthrough instead of just going for it and making EV’s seriously. Just make the cars now, the battery tech will continue to slowly develop over time and get there eventually.

Couldn’t agree more.
While I’m repelled by the term “paradigm shift”, that’s exactly what has to happen/is happening with respect to charging times.

Combining routine, stress-free, overnight charging with the occasional road trip needing somewhat longer than a “gas-fillup” needs to become the accepted norm.
People must eventually realize that they NEVER have to charge 0%-to-100%.

My own experience is on-the-road charging to guarantee safe arrival at the next way point, be it round trip, home, hotel or other big charging opportunity. This has generally meant 20-35 minute breaks in hours of driving.
A far cry from the laments of the EV Trolls.

It’s already pretty close to being fast enough for how most people travel. In my experience on road trips I find that we will typically drive around 2 – 2 1/2 hours max before stopping anyway. After 15-20 minutes of charging, which is about what time we spend getting snacks , coffee and going to the bathroom, we are usually at 60% in our Model 3. It wouldn’t probably be 60% if you were charging from complete empty but you never are at empty when you stop to charge.

So it always works out pretty well even with a loaded car that 60% will easily get you 2+ hours of driving at 75 mph with plenty to spare to get to the next Supercharger. Of course there will always be the smaller of percentage of people that have the requirement that they want to drive nonstop for 5-6 hours straight in 0 degree temperatures but that isn’t the majority of travelers.

Two hours driving at 70 mph and 30 minutes charging during lunch should do it.

While I agree, I’d like to point out that this is not really what silicon-rich anodes are about… The primary goal is higher density — if it also comes with faster charging times, that’s just a nice side benefit. (At a good PR talking point…)

Look at what Tesla has done at some of these mega stops. 20, 30, 40+ stalls. That’s what will be needed at popular road stops. Just count the number of cars passing through a road stop on your next trip. They all go through the gas pump for 2-4min then park in the parking lot for 20-30min. Each parking spot just needs a DC charger, 120-150kW is plenty. Then the car is charging for that 20-30min while you have a break. Saves about 5min at the gas pump and finding the parking spot.

The fastest, cheapest solution might be like Propane tank exchange: the batteries would be in industry wide, generic racks that are dropped and replaced with a slow charged rack to 75% capacity? Charging to full is wasteful.
Notice also that they are talking about 75% charge, not 100 percent so that would cut capacity, as well as charge times, so batteries would have to have larger capacities.
Right now, this is all PR and opportunism. Charged batteries still need fossil fuels to charge them cheaply. Solar, wind, etc. are all subsidized. Let the “free market”, not politics, determine the cost and usefulness.