Oxis on track to commercializing lithium sulfur batteries with twice the energy density of lithium ion in 2016

Oxis Energy has developed its largest Lithium Sulfur cell achieving in excess of 300Wh/kg. This outperforms Lithium ion technology that has dominated the performance battery market for many years. In addition OXIS has achieved an increase in cell capacity to a 25Ah cell – a world first.

This achievement is a twelve fold improvement in 18 months which gives OXIS the confidence to predict that it will achieve a cell capacity of 33Ah by mid 2015.

Lithium–sulfur batteries may succeed lithium-ion cells because of their higher energy density and reduced cost from the use of sulfur. Currently the best Li-S batteries offer energy densities on the order of 500 W·h/kg, significantly better than most lithium-ion batteries which are in the 150 to 200 range. Li-S batteries with up to 1,500 charge and discharge cycles have been demonstrated, yet are not commercially available.

Oxis is the leader in commercializing lithium sulfur batteries. Li-S battery manufacturing can use existing, excess battery manufacturing facilities with minimal modifications. Li-S batteries could scale to over batteries for over 100,000 electric vehicles and get costs down to $65/kwh.

Vehicle manufacturers are already reviewing and evaluating the cell technology.

The OXIS scientific team is moving on apace and expects to achieve a goal of an energy density in excess of 400Wh/kg by the end of 2016 and in excess of 500Wh/kg by the end of 2018.

The cells continue to display the enhanced safety features that characterise Li-S with superior safety performance attained in a barrage of industry-standard tests.

OXIS is collaborating with leading European companies and universities to harness the new material developments which will enhance energy density and cyclability and will have wide-ranging benefits such as eliminating distance anxiety in electric vehicles.

The modelling techniques being perfected allows the OXIS scientific team to predict and improve battery performance and operating conditions pertaining to a number of applications including automotive applications.

Achieving the automotive targets is accelerating developments for additional markets such as marine, UAV’s, energy storage and military applications that require ultra-light weight battery solutions which may lead to many spin off projects and additional collaborations in the future.

According to OXIS’ CEO, Huw Hampson-Jones, “OXIS Energy is set to remain at the forefront of the world’s leading battery technology with these significant improvement gains. They are being made in partnerships with British and European academic and research institutions such as LEITAT of Spain, TNO of the Netherlands and the Foundation for Research and Technology in Greece. OXIS is on schedule to release commercial cells for use in applications in the USA and Europe in 2015.”

Lithium Ion Batteries at Tesla

Lithium ion batteries and batteries in general improve by 8% per year on average but will not be introduced continually but in steps.

Current cell is 2008 technology mass produced 4 years later in 2012. 2013 technology should be mass produced in 2017. 2013 cell technology should have 40% higher energy density then 2008 technology.

Key numbers for Tesla car batteries:
(a) specific energy density measured in Wh per kg ( important for the design )
– Models S is 160 Wh per kg on pack level ( over 245 Wh per kg on cell level )
– typical ICE is in the low 200 Wh per kg
– e.g. i3 REX extender is only 140 Wh per kg

(b) $ per kWh ( that determines how “cheap” the car can be )
– Model S is $320 per kWh retail price
– i3 REX is $150 per kWh retail price

In order to make Model3 work two things have to happen
(1) energy density increase by at least 30%… then energy density would be about 210 Wh per kg
(2) cell cost reduction by 30%… multiply 1and 2 and you end up at 50% retail per kWh or $160 per kWh

Elon Musk and Tesla plan to achieve the cost reduction by scaling battery production with their gigafactory battery plan.

Elon Musk stated in June 2014 that he had not seen any new “battery breakthrough” better than the leading lithium ion batteries that Tesla has