In a significant stride toward decarbonization, Ionblox has introduced a revolutionary solution aimed at tackling one of the key challenges hindering the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) – extended charging times. The company’s latest innovation involves the launch of fast-charging lithium-silicon cells designed to transform the landscape of EV technology.
Breaking Barriers to EV Charging
Despite the pivotal role of electric vehicles in reducing carbon emissions, their refuelling or recharging times have yet to match the efficiency of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Ionblox addresses this challenge with its cutting-edge lithium-silicon cells, leveraging silicon’s energy-storage capacity to significantly reduce charging times while enhancing the overall range of EVs.
Revolutionary Charging Capabilities
Ionblox’s lithium-silicon cells boast the capability to charge 60% of the battery’s capacity in just five minutes and 80% in 10 minutes. This remarkable advancement not only accelerates the charging process but also extends the range of EVs, closing the performance gap with traditional combustion engine vehicles. The breakthrough technology offers EV manufacturers the flexibility to increase the range by 30% to 50% using a similarly sized Ionblox battery pack or opt for a smaller, lighter pack to reduce weight and cost.
Innovation in Battery Chemistry
The pivotal improvement in performance is attributed to Ionblox’s innovative approach, replacing traditional graphite in the anode with high-capacity silicon monoxide. Additionally, a patented range of supplemental lithium is infused into the anodes to enhance performance. The company’s nano-engineered solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) layer and new cell architecture contribute to increased conductivity and ensure a high cycle life with minimal capacity loss, even under extreme fast-charging conditions.
Dr. Herman Lopez, Chief Technology Officer at Ionblox, emphasized the significance of their achievement, stating, “We have developed high-performance cells that are not only compact and lightweight but also robust enough for continuous operation at extreme fast charges of 5 minutes, effectively closing the performance gap between electric vehicles and their combustion engine counterparts.”
Sustainable Performance and Future Prospects
Ionblox asserts that its lithium-silicon cells not only charge more efficiently but also maintain optimal performance throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. Rigorous testing, including over 1,000 extremely fast charge cycles, demonstrated minimal degradation of the large-format pouch cells (32-Ah capacity), showcasing the sustainability and durability of the technology.
With a strategic investment from Lilium, a leading eVTOL aircraft company, Ionblox’s fast-charging cell technology is poised to extend beyond ground transportation. The innovative cells are expected to enhance the operational capabilities of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, enabling multiple flights per day.
Ionblox is actively engaged in scaling up production, working with ecosystem partners to facilitate higher-volume production of its lithium-silicon cells. The company’s vision is to bridge the gap between electric and ICE vehicles, facilitating the mass adoption of electric transportation.