SES Massachusetts Solid Energy released the largest single capacity lithium metal battery, how far away is it from commercial mass production
At present, the global automotive industry is facing a once-in-a-century transformation, from fuel vehicles to new energy vehicles, and a key element in this transformation is the power battery.
From lead-acid batteries to nickel-chromium batteries, alkaline batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries, and then to lithium-ion batteries, the energy density of batteries has doubled about every 30 years for more than 150 years, somewhat similar to Moore’s Law in the field of integrated circuits. Now at the point of a 30-year change cycle, the industry is looking forward to the next generation of battery technology.
Massachusetts Solid Energy (SES) believes that the future will eventually move towards lithium metal batteries. On November 4, it released the ApolloTM lithium metal battery at the first SES Battery World event, with a capacity of up to 107 Ah, which is currently the world’s largest single lithium metal battery and the world’s first public display of more than 100 Ah of single lithium metal battery.
What is a lithium metal battery?
At present, the power battery equipped with electric vehicles on the market is generally lithium-ion batteries, which are mainly composed of positive electrode, negative electrode, electrolyte, separator and other parts.
The negative electrode of lithium-ion batteries is graphite or silicon, and the cathode material is a ternary material containing nickel or lithium iron phosphate, according to the different cathode materials, lithium-ion batteries can be specifically divided into ternary lithium batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries.
Today, when the cruising range is still a major pain point for the majority of electric vehicle owners, improving the energy density of power batteries is still the pursuit of the industry. The lithium metal battery is considered to be an important choice to greatly increase the energy density, in the periodic table, lithium is the lightest metal in nature, for the power battery of electric vehicles, lithium metal is also the most ideal material,
Traditional pure solid-state lithium metal batteries replace graphite and silicon with lithium metal in the negative electrode, and its capacity is 3860 mAh/g, about 10 times that of graphite, so that higher energy density can be achieved, but the problem is that materials such as solid polymers are very difficult to manufacture and process.
In fact, since the 80s of the last world, the development of the lithium metal battery industry has also experienced four stages.
The earliest liquid electrolyte is prone to combustion and is very dangerous; In the mid-90s, solid-state electrolytes began to prevail, and although the safety was high, the battery performance, energy density and manufacturability were poor; Around 2014, a new type of high-concentration lithium salt electrolyte appeared, which can be safely and stably used in lithium metal batteries; Around 2019, the lithium metal battery industry began to use artificial intelligence software to monitor battery safety.
In the development of lithium metal battery technology, the most fundamental problem is that the battery will form lithium dendrites on each charge, which will penetrate the separator, causing the battery to short circuit and even cause an explosion.
What Massachusetts can do is neither a traditional lithium-ion battery, nor a traditional pure solid-state lithium metal battery, but a hybrid lithium metal battery, through a mixed oxide solid electrolyte plus a high concentration electrolyte, it can combine the high energy density of lithium metal and the high manufacturability of lithium ions to play their respective advantages.
Compared with the current lithium-ion battery energy density of about 260wh/kg, SES hybrid lithium metal battery (4Ah) can increase the energy density by 43% under the condition of lighter weight; In terms of cycle life, SES’s 3/4-layer 250mAh battery has been able to achieve 80% capacity retention at 800 cycles, while the 25+ layer 4.2Ah battery can have 90% capacity retention at 550 cycles; In terms of fast charging, SES Hybrid Lithium Metal (25+ layers, 4.2Ah) is able to achieve fast charging from 10% to 90% in 12 minutes.
According to official data, the Apollo battery launched by Massachusetts Organeng this time has a capacity of up to 107 Ah, weighs only 0.982 kg, has an energy density of 417 Wh/kg, 935 Wh/L, and conducts 10-hour, 3-hour and 1-hour discharge tests at room temperature, Apollo™™ batteries show extremely high capacity and energy density.
Who is Mitt Maz Solid Energy?
To be able to launch the world’s largest single capacity lithium metal battery, where is Massachusetts solid energy?
Formerly known as SolidEnergy Systems, its founder Hu Qichao graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in physics, received a doctorate in applied physics from Harvard University in 2012, founded SES in the same year, and has been doing cutting-edge lithium metal battery research and development since then.
Positioning itself as a comprehensive lithium metal battery manufacturer of materials, cells, modules, AI-based battery safety algorithms and battery recycling, MS is headquartered in Singapore and operates in Boston, Shanghai and Seoul.
In the capital market, Massachusetts Inherent Energy is quite popular, and has experienced multiple rounds of financing, including not only main engine plants such as General Motors, Hyundai, and SAIC, but also leading enterprises in the lithium battery industry chain such as Tianqi Lithium.
In 2013, Organeng received Series A investment from Vertex Capital, a subsidiary of Temasek in Singapore, and Qianyang in Shanghai. In 2015, it received Series B investment from SAIC, General Motors and Applied Materials. In 2017 and 2018, it completed Series C financing for Temasek and Tianqi Lithium and Series C+ financing for SK of South Korea. In March this year, it completed the D round of financing, led by General Motors, followed by Vertex Investment, SAIC, South Korea’s SK, Temasek, Applied Venture Capital, and Tianqi Lithium. A month later, it received a D+ round of financing from Hyundai Motor.
In July, Organeng Massachusetts announced a definitive merger agreement with Ivanhoe Capital Acquisitions. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “SES.”
Massachusetts Solid Energy expects the transaction to close in December this year. It will raise approximately $490 million, which, together with its own cash flow, will hold $680 million in cash when the deal closes, enough to support future commercialization plans.
At present, Massachusetts Guneng is working with General Motors and Hyundai Motor to launch a sample of automotive-grade lithium metal batteries next year and officially start commercial mass production of lithium metal batteries in 2025. It is worth mentioning that Massachusetts Solid Energy is currently the only company in the world that has signed a joint development agreement with a major automobile manufacturer for lithium metal battery A samples.
At the event, Massachusetts Guneng announced that it is building the Shanghai Gigafactory, which is scheduled to be completed in 2023, with a total area of 30,000 square meters. Located in Shanghai Jiading International Automobile City, the Gigafactory will have a capacity of 1GWh after completion, making it the world’s largest lithium metal battery factory.
Car Cloud Summary:
Power battery as the core component of electric vehicles, in the current mainstream lithium-ion battery still has shortcomings, battery companies and car companies are still carrying out the continuous development of new technologies and new materials, from sodium-ion batteries, cobalt-free batteries, solid-state batteries, to lithium metal batteries, which technical route can replace or compete with lithium-ion batteries in the future development is not known.
In the technical route of lithium metal batteries, Massachusetts Solid Energy is undoubtedly at the forefront of the industry. With the blessing of car companies such as GM, Hyundai and Geely, Massachusetts Solid Energy’s lithium metal battery products will not be worried about no sales in the future. However, the application of lithium metal batteries must be developed through the process development of A samples, B samples and C samples, and can only be officially mass-produced and loaded into vehicles in 2025. At that time, can lithium metal batteries stir up the power battery industry? Let’s wait and see.
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