Solid State Auto Battery Claims Power Potential Breakthrough

Solid-state sulfur lithium automotive batteries are being touted as having the power to reach levels currently only seen with lithium-ion components.

UK company OXIS Energy says it has tested its cell prototypes at 471Wh/kg and is confident of achieving 500Wh/kg within the next year. The company is collaborating with European chemical partners to develop an advanced lithium metal protection mechanism to ensure a significant improvement in the lithium sulfur (Li-S) life cycle.

At the same time, it is working to develop solid state Li-S technology. Its research scientists believe that they can extend both gravimetric and volumetric energy density towards 600Wh/kg and in excess of 800Wh/L with a significantly extended life cycle. Currently at TRL 2, OXIS is extending the research to hit the target of TRL 4 by 2021.

So far, it claims it has also successfully developed a standard Li-S battery module that saves production time enabling commercial battery supply to manufacturers of BEV buses, electric trucks, aircraft and marine vessels. The battery’s main features include:

  • Lightweight design being less than 20% of the module’s weight is non-cell mass;
  • It can be scaled up into larger batteries;
  • Boasts a fire-resistant carbon-fiber safety enclosure;
  • Fully compatible with many proprietary cooling solutions for thermal management;
  • Fast production line assembly time.

The company claims the largest test center in Europe for aircraft and vehicle manufacturers to test Li-S cells and battery systems safely. It also expects to double battery production this year.

Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO OXIS Energy, said: “The culture of early adoption of new technology, which characterizes the ‘can do’ attitude of US business is driving the implementation of OXIS Li-S cell and battery systems across multiple markets. The United States and Japan are emerging as key new entrants in the use of Lithium Sulfur cells and battery systems.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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