A Boston startup company claims that it can sever half the production costs for lithium ion batteries while also offering increased performance, by using new manufacturing technology which reduces non-charging materials by more than 80 percent.
Massachusetts based start-up company 24M claims to have developed what it calls as a semisolid lithium-ion battery. The company is led by MIT professor Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang and claims that by reducing the amount of battery materials which don’t carry charge from a conventional lithium-ion battery by up to 80% could drive production costs significantly down, while making the battery more power dense.
The company estimates that about half of the current manufacturing costs of lithium-ion batteries can be reduced by reducing the amount of metal and supporting plastics. It would not make other particular changes to the lithium-ion formula itself.
Dr. Chiang told mashable.com that customers nowadays prefer lithium-ion batteries, and for good reason, as chemistry storage costs are accessible and as far as longevity goes it is one of the more prolific chemistry combos in this regard. Lithium-ion batteries have been available since the early 90’s, and have gotten through overall improvements but have never suffered a massive change.
Neither is the case now: 24M just plans to fit the combo into a more efficient and less costly design. Reduction of non-chargeable elements would also mean an increase in the thickness of electrons in the battery components, from the current 60 microns average to about 400, resulting in better performance and more mileage out of the batteries.
24M’s proposal also changes the way in which batteries will be manufactured, with their production being left to smaller factories at a faster rate. The company projects that its proposed version of lithium ion batteries could be produced five times quicker than now, because their manufacturing wouldn’t involve liquid solvents which require continuous drying. This would also make battery manufacture a cheaper business on whole, because it would exclude the requirement for some of the currently expensive equipment.
Dr. Chiang is not at her first experience at a battery company. He originally started A123 Systems in 2005, which supplied batteries for Fisker, one of the first automotive projects which presented a hybrid electric vehicle. However, Fisker’s lack of commercial success led both it and A123 to bankruptcy in 2012. Dr. Chiang left A123 to start from the drawing board with 24M in 2010, escaping A123’s buyout by the Chinese Wanxiang Group.