Battery Tech That Just Might Change Your Mind about Electric Cars

Battery from Toyota Prius  Battery Car Called Nissan Leaf Battery Pack from Tesla Model-S

Battery Powered Vehicles Available Today

Currently, the battery technology used today is in over 90,000 plug-in electric vehicles on the road in the US alone. The Toyota Prius, Tesla Model S, and Nissan Leaf comprise most of the units sold.  In 2013 a dozen other crafty electric vehicles have been added to the list.

Battery Vehicles Achilles’ heel

One of the major hurdles to adoption of the electric vehicle has been the mileage range of the vehicles.  The government has subsidized the purchase price of these vehicles in hopes that early adoption will drive investment by private companies into improving their performance and range.

Battery Technology Break Through

XG-Sciences is one of those companies that has taken the development of electric vehicles to the next level. They have realized a breakthrough in the development of an anode material for the electric batteries. This anode material vastly improves the power density of the batteries.

Their development will increase the energy storage density to four times the previous record. Instead of comparing their results to a cherry picked vehicle, the company has released the number of 1500 mAh/g with low capacity loss and a stable performance in real life tests.

Battery Target Goals of Department of Energy

To realize the goal of fleet targets, the Department of Energy selected XG Sciences to develop materials for extending the range of the fleet of vehicles in hopes of making them competitive with gas powered engines.

Battery Anode Material Developed By XG-Sciences (Technical Details)

The material they developed is a silicon/graphene nanocomposite which is based on the platelets that they developed under the xGnP and XG Leaf products.

The material thickness is around 50-150 micro meters and has a maximum operating temperature of 270 degrees Celsius.  Their Grade-H particles are produced with a diameter range of 5-25 microns. It is this small size that allows it to efficiently transfer energy to the Li-Ion battery.

Battery Tech Talk with An Important Player

This is great news for applications like smartphones, tablet computers, stationary power and vehicle electrification that use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. We are working with battery makers to translate this exciting new material into batteries with longer run-time, faster charging, and smaller sizes than today’s batteries.”

Mr. Privette added, “but we also have research and development partners that are focused on hybrid and electric vehicles, grid storage, military, and specialty industrial applications. Over time, we anticipate formulating custom nano-engineered anode materials with specific properties for each of these major markets.”

XG-Sciences Battery Tech Applications

“xGnP® Graphene Nanoplatelets feature the beneficial properties of graphite or graphene (electrical and thermal conductivity, stiffness, etc.), as well as those derived from its unique size and shape, making them ideal for a host of applications.  The growing industry of printed electronics is just one area in which graphene can play an important role in the formulation of coatings or inks for effective electrical and thermal conductivity.”

XG-Science Battery Tech Patent

The patent for this invention can be found here: “Lithium metal phosphate/carbon nanocomposites as the cathode active materials for secondary lithium batteries”. It was filed in 2011.

A little Bit about XG-Sciences and Their Team

Currently, XG-Sciences is ramping up production in there 40,000 square-foot facilities in Lansing, Michigan.

Their award-winning team includes LIYA WANG, Ph.D., VP R&D who heads up their advanced batteries and capacitors division. Before joining XG Sciences, Dr. Wang was the Principal Scientific Director at CIC Energigune in Spain.

Other members of their team include Dr. Do who is a founding shareholder in the company. His Ph.D. research experience is in investigating nanoparticles on graphene surfaces for ultra-capacitor, battery and fuel cell applications.

Mike Knox is the CEO of the company and is one of the original founders. During the past 25 years, he has successfully co-founded five companies in the manufacturing, service, and software industries.

Battery Power Density Requirement By DOE Exceeded

As one article on their site that was dated October 15th, 2012 states, the past DOE contract “will accelerate product commercialization by targeting 600 mAh/g reversible anode capacity and 1000 cycle life in 250 mAh cells,” said Rob Privette, VP Energy Markets. “. XG-Sciences achievement of 1500 mAh/g results is 2.5 times what they were expected to produce by the Department of Energy!

Battery Tech Conclusion and Follow Up

What this means is up to four times the battery power density for Li-Ion batteries. You can expect this to be a game-changing technology over the next few years. In a follow-up article, I will be writing about what I believe is the expected form this advancement will take over the next 10 years.