The challenge

Lithium-ion battery technology was introduced more than 25 years ago, and it is reaching its limits. The market requires better and higher performing battery technology for the  next generation of use cases.  Safety, energy density and cost are significant challenges for the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Safety

When a conventional lithium-ion battery is punctured, the battery shorts and the temperature increases rapidly, causing the liquid electrolyte to decompose and the cell to expand and burst. As the reaction continues, the liquid electrolyte ignites and expels flames and toxic gas from the battery. These thermal events have occurred in recent widely publicized incidents involving smartphones, toys, electric vehicles, and aircraft.

Energy Density

Progress in developing better battery technology has been slow, and current cutting edge lithium-ion technologies are nearing their theoretical performance limits.  Finding ways to enable the use of new chemistries (i.e. new anode and cathode active materials) is perhaps the most impactful way to address this challenge. However it has thus far proven difficult or impossible to implement the most promising next generation chemistries in batteries with liquid electrolytes.

Cost

Cheap, efficient batteries will be a requirement for some of the most exciting future trends, including electric vehicles and grid storage.  But the without innovation in lower cost chemistries and more efficient manufacturing methods, the needed cost reductions will not be possible.   The battery industry value chain is relentlessly searching for new technologies and processes that could help to bridge this cost gap.

electric vehicles

Safe, long range electric vehicles become a reality

consumer electronics

Longer lasting devices in new form factors

grid storage

Low cost, reliable energy for grid applications

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