(Image Credit: Adden Energy)
Harvard researchers developed a new coin-cell battery prototype that achieves a full charge in just three minutes with over 10,000-lifetime cycles. The team’s startup, Adden Energy, received a $5.15 million seed round of funding and an exclusive technological license from Harvard University to up-scale the battery for future EVs.
Adden Energy’s goal is to up-scale the battery to a palm-sized pouch before up-scaling it again to an electric vehicle battery in the upcoming three to five years. “If you want to electrify vehicles, a solid-state battery is the way to go,” said Xin Li, a scientific advisor to Adden Energy. “We set out to commercialize this technology because we do see our technology as unique compared to other solid-state batteries. We have achieved in the lab 5,000 to 10,000 charge cycles in a battery’s lifetime, compared with 2,000 to 3,000 charging cycles for even the best in class now, and we don’t see any fundamental limit to scaling up our battery technology. That could be a game changer.”
Adden Energy CEO William Fitzhugh said transportation produced 29% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. “Complete electrification of the vehicle fleet is one of the most meaningful steps we can take to fight climate change,” he said. “However, broad adoption of electric vehicles requires batteries that can meet a diverse set of consumer needs. For example, 37% of Americans don’t have garages at home, so at-home overnight charging is not possible. In order to electrify this segment, EVs need to recharge at comparable times to internal combustion vehicles, essentially in the time you’d currently spend at the gas pump.”
The technology could also offer crucial benefits. For example, implementing advanced structural and material designs could help prevent dendrite growth before it causes damage, a common issue in solid-state systems. This makes it possible for the device to achieve high-performance sustainability over its lifetime. The study also demonstrated this feature could be maintained at scale-up.
“Climate change is the defining challenge facing the world. It is more important than ever to accelerate the transition to clean energy and zero-emission transportation,” said Fred Hu, who also serves on the Global Board of the Nature Conservancy. “Adden Energy’s mission is to develop cutting-edge battery technologies, thereby enabling mass adoption of electric vehicles and contributing to a greener and more sustainable global economy.”
“Electric vehicles cannot remain a luxury fashion, literally the ‘one percent’ of vehicles on the road, if we are to make progress toward a clean energy future, and the U.S. won’t have a used-car market if EV batteries last only 3 to 5 years,” said Li. “The technology needs to be accessible to everyone. Extending the lifetime of the batteries, as we’re doing here, is an important part of that.”
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