Triple Battery Density in 3-5 Years for Triple Electric Car Range

Innolith AG, Swiss maker of rechargeable Inorganic Battery Technology, says they have the world’s first 1000 Wh/kg rechargeable battery. This would triple the range of electric cars. The Innolith Energy Battery would radically reduce costs by not using exotic and expensive materials.

Innolith will make an initial pilot production in Germany and then create licensing partnerships with major battery and automotive companies. Development and commercialization of the Innolith Energy Battery is anticipated to take between three and five years.

It will also be the first non-flammable lithium-based battery for use in EVs. The Innolith battery uses a non-flammable inorganic electrolyte, unlike conventional EV batteries that use a flammable organic electrolyte. The switch to non-flammable batteries removes the primary cause of battery fires that have beset the manufacturers of EVs.

Innolith has already proven the breakthrough character of non-flammable, inorganic rechargeable batteries with its first product, a Grid-Scale Power Battery that is used today in the PJM grid in the US to provide fast frequency regulation services. The chemistry used in this battery has been proven to operate for more than 55,000 full depth of discharge cycles, which is between 10 and 100 times the maximum number of cycles of existing Li-ion batteries in use today.

60 Gigawatt Hour Throughput

In October 2018, Innolith announced a breakthrough in battery technology for grid and industrial applications that will see the lifetime throughput more than doubled compared to previous batteries. The new battery technology when used in an Innolith GridBank system will have a lifetime throughput of over 60 GWh of energy over its 50,000 cycle lifetime and so dramatically cut costs for the use of batteries for grid applications. The performance breakthrough means that Innolith batteries will now cost between one third and one tenth per cycle compared to conventional Li ion batteries.

SOURCES- Innolith
Written By Brian Wang

74 thoughts on “Triple Battery Density in 3-5 Years for Triple Electric Car Range”

  1. Well, I am also not convinced that their battery is what they promise, we agree about that much…

  2. Sure didn’t read that way. Feels a little like you have a “Fly Over Country” mentality.

  3. You are talking about the Chevrolet Volt concept. Which worked OK, but when the new Bolt got up to 240 mile range, it seems they decided to shelve the dual propulsion system.

  4. GoatGuy: You have to recognized that you are in a 2% group. 220 miles is enough for the other 98% of us.

  5. Assuming the same raw materials and the same level of structural complexity then similarly optimized products should approach the same $/kg, so the higher W.h/kg would end up less $/W.h.


    • Most of the new battery tech that we have seen detailed ends up using fairly complex fine structures in the electrodes to allow for surface area and the expansion and contraction of materials as they absorb and release ions. So “same level of structural complexity” is not a given.
    • The web site for this company doesn’t give any information that I can see about whether they have such an electrode structure or not. I am rather less confident about this company having seen their website because it seems to be pages and pages of marketing waffle with no useful details at all.
  6. Of course, if you make 3 batteries of any type, these will be expensive batteries. But if you make it to mass production, a high energy density battery should be cheaper per Wh. Do you agree?

  7. I’ll agree that eventually a design that uses less valuable material should end up at a cheaper price once all the tech has been optimized.

    But at this point the new design is just that, new, and hence

    • Much less optimised for mass production
    • Being produced in much lower numbers
    • Way behind on all the various learning curves.
    • Quite possibly more complicated, which why it’s a higher performance design that took longer to develop.
  8. I always thought a hybrid car with 100 mile range “all electric” with a 300-500 mile “backup” gas powered. 90% of all driving would be electric. But, on long distance trips you would have that ability as well.

  9. But they also state that they will increase the energy density from their current batteries. A.k.a. what they are selling right now is *not* the high energy density cell…

  10. And why do you assume that a battery with higher energy density would have more alloying, pre-assembly etc per *weight*? Look, the company above – and I am absolutely not vouching for them – claim that the whole battery weights 3.3 times less for the same energy content compared to the current state of the art.

    That is, you would have 3.3 times less (by weight) separator, anode, shell, electrolyte etc. If this were not true, their battery would not weigh 3.3 times less. Right?

    So, if you assume a constant profit and overhead with relation to Wh, a battery with higher energy density (but the same energy content) should cost [material cost]/3.3+[other costs] = 60%/3.3 + 40% = 58% of the original battery. This cell would be 42% cheaper for the same Wh content.

    If you assume that the new company will keep the cell volume constant, but that the overhead scales with energy content (not clear why), the new battery cost would be 3*[other cost]+1*[material cost] = 3*40%+1*60% = 180%. Given that the new battery would have 3.3 times the energy content, this would translate to a price per energy of 180%/3.3= 54%, i.e. a cheaper battery per energy unit.

    Any way you slice it, higher energy density should mean cheaper per Wh.

  11. That’s a good link, but I think they are overselling their point.

    Let’s look at this paragraph about the cathode:

    That translates to nearly $10 to $15 /kWh just for the cost of raw material for the cathode — before processing and manufacturing. 

    So, my interpretation of that is $10-15 for the raw materials for the cathode. And the graph you link shows about $40-45 for the cathode “material costs”. So “material costs” are only 20-30% “raw material costs” and the rest is processing and manufacturing.

    Hence, the 60% material costs overall actually means about 20% the cost of cobalt and lithium etc. The rest is the alloying, producing the correct microstructure, fabrication of the optimized electrode structure and shape etc. The final assembly factory then gets in these premade anodes, cathodes etc, and classifies them as “materials” when looking at their own cost structure.

    Though I’ll admit that even 20% is higher than I thought, and I must have been anchoring on analysis read years ago before it was commoditized as much as it has been.

  12. “..the cost of a battery pack is so far above the price of the raw materials that the relationship is meaningless..”

    No, according to my link above, this is patently false.

  13. I disagree. Say you have a battery with 1000 Wh/kg and one with 300 Wh/kg, and let’s assume they have roughly the same (mass-) density. Apples for apples, the first battery will have mass X and volume X, whereas the second battery will have 3X mass and 3X volume.

    Now, let’s assume that the layers in the two batteries are of comparable thickness and need the same amount of milling and what not per surface electrode. Then, the first battery will be pretty much 3 times cheaper per Wh than the second one. But, this may not be the case.

    Let’s instead assume that the first battery has electrodes that need twice as much working per unit area as the first one. Then, the second battery will be 3.3/2 times as cheap per Wh, or 1.65 times cheaper per Wh.

    It is only if you assume that each unit of mass of the second battery requires production time / steps that scales linearly with the energy density that the first battery is just as expensive per Wh as the second battery. And I really don’t see a reason for this.

    And even if this *were true*, studies have shown that 60% of the battery cost is material cost, so the first battery should be cheaper per Wh by virtue of this fact only. [1]. And, in this case, the company claims to have found cheaper materials…

  14. Sure, but what’s a car company to do if 90% of the people can get by with the 220 miles 99% of the time? There will need to be a pretty hefty premium to justify chasing the last 10%.

  15. I’m going to piggyback this: for myself, personally, I’ve never been in a big hurry to buy an electric vehicle. TBH, I drive too far too often for an EV to make sense for me right now. With that said, my neighbor recently got a Model 3 long range and it is NICE. I mean, make whatever environmental or cost of ownership arguments you want to make in either direction it’s just a NICE car. Smooth, fast, comfortable, quiet, handles well, and the auto-pilot function makes stop-and-go bumper to bumper traffic so much more bearable.

  16. I got to see this all up close when some friends of mine where looking for a new car.

    It was to be a replacement for a Audi Q5 tdi, so they were the market for a Tesla Model X. They certainly could afford to buy the Tesla, but the fact that the Tesla was over $100k was just a barrier that they wouldn’t climb. They didn’t even test drive one, though the Tesla dealer was right next to the Jaguar dealer that we did visit. (The F-Pace wasn’t bad, if you like urban 4wd wagons).

    Eventually she chose the Porsche Macan, which to be fair was the best car looked at.

    My point being that the higher starting price of the Tesla ruled it out of contention from the start.

  17. For some people the money saved on the vehicle just goes straight into some terrible money sinkhole immediately and its just …gone and they don’t pay their long term debts. How to guess they’re like this? Credit rating.

    Once you have a stellar credit rating though you can have any car you want anyways…..

    Yeah, don’t see it making a difference.

  18. DrPat,
    I never would have given an EV a second thought. Am a believer in the flexibility ice cars have. My sister recently died after battling MS for many years. She asked me about my non EV stance and said she would have a tesla if she could have used one. We all know relatives can be loonie but I respected her intensely. So I simply did a tiny bit of research and gave one a try.
    I’ll say this, one needs to have a garage so the car can be charged, it’s a simple matter if you have 220/240. I pull in and if it’s running low I put a plug in it. I have an effective (kind to battery) range of over 250 miles. Less of course in cold weather. More if I need to make a longer trip. My commute is short. I have done some trips where I used superchargers. My timing was such lunch or breakfast and charging aligned perfectly.
    Currently I find highway cruising very pleasant, I am at ease to look around at the scenery, while giving momentary attention to the road when it might be wise.

  19. Name them? Li-S? Mg++-ion? Al+++-ion? KV supercaps? Li-air? Zn-air? All great ideas that don’t work for various reasons. 1000 Wh/kg is quite a lot.

  20. The failure tend not to be the breakthrough turns out not to work, rather they tend to price the products at the premium end of the spectrum instead of going for volume.

  21. Indeed, since TNT has to contain the oxidizer its energy content is about 10 times less than gasoline, even if mixed with ethanol. Not very energy rich. But very dangerous…

  22. Let’s not forget that cars are not the only user of the battery. If i can have triple the capacity I would first go for phones, laptops, drones and such. And the price will be a distant second concern. Once the technology is more mature and the prices go down it can be put in the mass produced cars. Even if only as a hybrid booster

  23. Power sources are rapidly shifting. If you don’t account for the sources over the life of the vehicle, you will get a wrong answer:

  24. A stress engineer at Boeing I worked with did a deep study of this. From concrete dams to satellites, cost/kg tends to run between the 3/2 power and square of the stress, measured in Pascals (psi for US people). The actual cost values change over time, though, due to improvements in technology.

    The reason for the cost trend is when mass doesn’t matter, or is an actual advantage (dams), you choose the cheapest material and don’t spend much engineering time per kg to reduce the mass. When mass is critical, like interplanetary probes, you choose the highest strength/mass materials, and spend lots of engineering time to minimize it.

    Vehicles that get used multiple times (airplanes, trucks) have a multiplier on the value of weight savings, due to fuel savings and increased cargo capacity for each trip you make. So they are built more expensively relative to stationary structures. The value of engineering gets divided by the number of units produced.

    All of this was worked out as part of our “cost estimating models”, which we used to predict what a given future project would cost to build.

  25. It’s not clear just what is going on from a sales perspective. If they had sold $50 million in batteries/inverters/software, it would likely have been stated up front in clear language.
    However, you could be right.

  26. Until I bought a tesla I was firmly in your camp.

    Sorry Bruce, but I’m not buying it.
    If you were firmly of the opinion that EVs were not worth it then you would not have bought a Tesla.

  27. The gyroscope effect is sorted. They’ve run the flywheels in Formula 1 cars, very light weight cars, very sensitive to small forces at very high speeds, no flipping occurred.

    Though the F1 boys did end up all moving to batteries.

  28. I suppose we have to wait until we see a mature 2nd hand market for EVs settle down before we know the real total cost of ownership.

    Depreciation is a significant factor in car ownership costs. And one that people tend to weigh heavily because that final resale value comes right at the point where they are paying out money for the next vehicle.

  29. Yes, reducing the pollution in the cities is a prime goal. That’s where humans live. Humans who are making these decisions.

  30. Consider that RocketLab might be interested in W.h/kg, and any battery that breaks new ground on energy density might be of great value to them.

  31. By organic I think he meant was it a creation of the free market. I think it was, it certainly didn’t happen through government action, the subsidies were there before any car maker really took advantage of them, and Tesla basically eliminated the need for subsidies.

    Does an EV reduce total cost of ownership? No, not yet, but I could see it happening. The market needs 10 or so more years to stabilize before we’ll know the answer to that question. The model 3 is selling in enough numbers but there is no used market to speak of, so can it compare to the $7,000 I spent on a 3-year-old car that gets 40 mpg?

    If any country is serious about eliminating CO2 emissions then the power grid is clearly the first place to start, not electric cars. I would say though that smog in the cities is a much greater concern than the theory of global warming.

  32. Reduce in cities – maybe. Increase in locations with Coal or NG generation. Nope. Maybe keep your pollution where it’s “used”.

    Total Cost of Ownership? You sure about cleaning up after the car has been retired. It’s not just crush and recycle a 1000 pounds of batteries per car.

  33. Wouldn’t there be a gyroscopic effect of having a 100K RPM flywheel in a car? Turn 90 degrees and the car flips on its side? No?

  34. Flywheels don’t revolutionize stored-energy-to-range calculations. Working backward, assuming (not unwisely) that E→in→out efficiency of a flywheel might be better than 95%, and that the electric motor train is about the same (90% overall), and knowing it takes about ⅓ of a kilowatt hour to travel an average mile…

    2000 mi ÷ ⅓ kWh = 6,000 kWh of stored energy

    That’s quite a bit.  

    6,000 kWh ÷ 0.95² efficiency ÷ 3.6 MJ/kWh = 1,850 MJ of stored energy.
    1,850 MJ ÷ 4.186 MJ per kg of TNT = 441 kg TNT

    Now, between me and you… storing almost half a ton of TNT in the boot of the car seems like an awfully risky thing to do. Especially in perhaps even a minor “fender bender”. KABOOM.  Talk about driving around with an IED in the back seat!

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy ✓

  35. Your opinion of “220 miles is enough” is insufficient — with families, athletic partners, unusual hobbies, widely scattered friends-and-relatives.  I live in the SF Bay Area (East Bay); and regularly hop in the car and head to South Lake Tahoe to use our time-share units. Its pretty much a “well Honey, buckle up, we’re doing this in one shot”.  

    In the car at 4 AM. In Sacramento by 6 AM or thereabouts. Stop for Starbux and a fill-up because the climb-up-the-Sierras sucks the tank dry.  In SLT by 8 AM typically. Just in time to park, stretch, haul luggage, call our friends, get back in the car to have breakfast with them. 30 minute drive. Then, around 12 or so, head to Incline to have lunch at the brewery. Another 20 minutes. Then take them back home, and scoot to the timeshare. 50 minutes.  

    If we were in an electric car with a 220 mile range, we’d HAVE to get a full fill-up from a ⅔ depleted battery in Sacramento. At 3.3 mi/kWh, that’d be 44 kWh. Assuming a 60 kW charger port, that’s 40 minutes. Assuming a slot is open. Then, climbing up the mountains would take another ⅔ ‘tank’. Having a 110 V power cord to use at friends is USELESS5 miles/hour charge rate. Tops. Would have to run over to one of the Big Hotels. 40 min. Then around lake. Another 40 min. 

    Seems like a LOT of overhead, compared to the 1 midway fill-up, taking 10 minutes tops at a filling station.

    Just saying,
    GoatGuy ✓

  36. Don’t they say they are already selling grid power batteries? That’s a lot more than just a cell.

  37. You have to ask what a EV is supposed to do before you can ask if it achieves the aims.

    Does an EV reduce the use of Oil, a politically vulnerable resource? Yes.
    Does an EV reduce the output of hydrocarbons, CO, ozone, nitrous oxides, particulates and other pollution, especially in the cities where people live? Yes.
    Does an EV reduce total cost of ownership? Yes.
    Does an EV reduce total CO2 produced over life? Probably, depending on assumptions.
    Is an EV organic? WTF does that even mean? Contains carbon based molecules?

  38. I don’t have any studies on the subject, but I’m going assume that for a large section of the population the up front purchase price is still a major barrier even though overall life cycle costs might be lower.

    I could be looking at this differently from someone in the USA. In my country a Tesla is still over $100 000. Someone who would otherwise buy a Camry is just going to turn around and walk out of the showroom, even if there is a salesman holding a chart showing depreciation offset by net present value of fuel purchases.

    (Nobody believes what a car salesman tells them anyway, right?)

    The point about lifecycle costs DOES work out for companies and businesses (those that have access to capital anyway) and those providing transport services.

    The real question I suppose is if the lending desk at the local bank will now upfront the higher purchase price, confident that repayments will be OK because the service and fuel costs will be lower.

  39. Yes, the cost of a battery pack is so far above the price of the raw materials that the relationship is meaningless.

    You don’t price a car by starting with the $/tonne of steel.

  40. If it costs like a high end sports car, and goes like a high end sports car, we should expect not much more market share than high end sports cars.

    EVs are just about there at this point. To grow they have to move to the cheap family car sector.

  41. Wake me up, when these batteries are actually in electric cars (or anything else) and hold up to the promises made. So many “battery revolutions” in recent years and they all disappeared, never to be heard of again.

  42. We have real world numbers for the life of Tesla batteries now and they are in the 500k miles, soon to be 1 million miles.
    Also batteries can be recycled.
    Further, electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline engines.

  43. ” In particular the study assumes electricity largely generated by coal plants”

    That seems to be the case to a great extent.

    2016 World [civil] power generation by source [IEA, 2018] (Percentages of 24.973 TWh)[2]
      Coal (38.4%)
      Natural Gas (23.2%)
      Hydro (16.3%)
      Nuclear fission (10.4%)
      Oil (3.7%)
      Non hydro renew. (8%)

    I don’t know about battery life, but lets face it most cars use much more fuel in everyday use than what is printed on the pamphlet. Why would it be different with battery life?

  44. I would say there is no material relationship between energy per weight and energy per cost. In almost every instance I can think of, increasing energy per weight of powerplants or power storage increases its cost as weight is an expensive consideration, necessitating materials choice. Car engines, Aircraft Engines, Terrestrial power-plants, Nuclear, Utlity Battery storage. Actually all follow the reverse paradigm. if you’re willing to part with weight, costs can go down dramatically, but if weight is conserved, then costs go up dramatically, particularly so with airplanes and rockets.

    Not exactly a perfect analysis for batteries, but when weight is not a concern, there are much, much cheaper ownership costs of other battery technologies, such as nickel-iron.

  45. I think the cost of ownership argument is an interesting one to people who are interested in absolute costs like that but the problem is that that argument appeals only to people who are more price sensitive than the market that EV’s currently compete in. Companies like Porsche, Jaguar and BMW, are the ones where Tesla is eating their lunch…and I’ve yet to meet the person who could make a convincing argument that BMWs are a valuable cost of ownership vehicle.

    So essentially, the perfect EV customer is actually down market from their current niche. irrespective that most people could save money on a 6-10 total ownership proposition. 45K+ un-subsidized cost is simply beyond the pale at any proposition for the type of customer that wants a thrifty vehicle. its a shame too because its essentially only a 10k game at this point between the base camry and the base model 3.

    as a small aside, the Nissan Leaf’s depreciation and battery lifetime are significantly worse than Teslas, despite being cheaper.

    As far as I’ve seen, all ride hailing services, including google’s are still about 25% more expensive than owning the vehicle outright for the same mileage even with depreciation, insurance maintenance all thrown in, because those are all still present for the vehicles in question and significantly worse as the vehicle is getting about 10x the mileage and energy consumption for 24 hours. works well for some urban areas, where car ownership is punished. but not mine.

  46. People want services and yet they don’t want to pay for it.
    Just take the bus, you will not notice because all taxes are built into the fare.

  47. I doubt we’d see a range of over 400 miles, just because the failure mode of a flywheel is pretty destructive.

  48. I saw somthing really interesting the other day. They found a way to make a flywheel using a super strong form of graphene that can safely spin at 100,000 rpm. Double a flywheel weight and you double its power output. Double the RPM and you get 4 times the power output. A car using this kind of energy storage device could go 2000 miles before needing to be spun up again.

  49. As soon as it becomes profitable big players (google/microsoft/apple/facebook) may use their bank reserves to start a an mass drone car service.
    Only the big companies could do it in large scale and be early with it for maximum profitablity, its unlikely i need to buuy a car because their rentals driving 24h are a more efficent use of hardware p/km.

    Cars are expensive for the time they are not used, drone fleets and smart algorythms could limit that for a max profit.

    I think it be more profitable as compared to asteroid mining….

  50. In terms of acceleration an EV is more like an high end sport car. The cost of an EV should be compared to the cost of an high end sport car.

  51. There isn’t much need for a driving range over 220 miles as long as you can fast charge in about 30 mins. Very few people need to drive over four hours straight. A full tank of gas gives you between 300 and 400 miles. So I think 300 to 400 miles range for an EV is good.

  52. I am doubtful. As long as most people want to drive to work at the same time, the total amount of vehicles will stay pretty much the same..

    Also, the government does not want to give up revenue, so they will increase the taxes of [insert arbitrary object here] to keep the flow to the state. What about a “seat tax”, or perhaps a straight “mile tax”? What about a road tax?

    No, cheaper transportation is probably not in the cards..

  53. True, but kWh/USD and kWh/kg are probably related. A high kWh/kg probably means that you could be a high kWh/USD, since you would have to expend less material to reach the same capacity. Of course, the relation is not one-to-one, but still…

  54. Dave, everything you say has some merit. Until I bought a tesla I was firmly in your camp. Since driving one I can tell you they have very real likeable attributes. Numbers be damned, drive one for a week and you will never go back to an ICE car again.

  55. Yep. Seen all sorts of ‘laboratory breakthroughs’ that were massively hyped… and then disappeared.

    We’ll see if this is another one of the same.

  56. Sure, this would be a big thing, if they ever “sell a cell”! Consider how many battery companies have announced their fabulous new technology, never to sell anything but their “intellectual property of questionable value”.

  57. True for the average user, but anyone with a high-density battery can follow the Tesla roadmap: put it in expensive cars until mass production drives down the price. I’m sure there’s a market for an electric car with a 1000-mile range.

    Electric planes are definitely a market too, and there are several in development that really need better batteries.

  58. This massive investment in electric cars is going to be a disaster. Tripling energy density (assuming size stays the same to increase range) will triple the discharge of a catastrophic failure. Without a huge improvement in safety, this will end in tears.

    Over and above that, the entire premise of electric cars of being more efficient and better for the environment is false

    Tripling battery capacity will allow for the same range with less weight, but it won’t do enough to fix the numbers in that article. They’ll still be less efficient.

    If we were really serious on improving efficiency, we’d put our focus on hybrid vehicles and improving supercapacitors.

    There is nothing organic about the current push for electric cars. The proof is they don’t sell without government subsidies. History will not be kind.

  59. I agree with you for kind of a different reason. Tesla is trying to put their money(millions) on a different battery manufacture/process then mentioned here. If it is as good as stated here why would they do that? If you think tesla does not have a team of professionals scouring all the new and old battery technologies looking for somthing really better, think again.

  60. When someone promises a very density, very fast, very durable and cheap battery at the same time, I put the seal of “too good to be true”.

    That’s a supposed breakthrough, over very limited data, so it’s reasonable to be very, very skeptical until complete info, demonstration and limited production and pilot examples are ready.
    At first, it could be a scam based of very unlikely but physical possible and very desirable technology, like fusion. A lot of scam of this type has existed before.

  61. Good point, but I’m wondering if it’s the purchase price you’re looking at or the total life cycle analysis? What about the cost of buying a cheaper ICE but then fuelling it with oil and servicing it every 6 months? I thought once the numbers were run over the life of the car, electricity was cheaper per km? Seen any studies you respect on that angle? (It’s been years since I heard that claim, but I’m currently just too busy to go googling and reading new studies.) Also, what about automation? What if most of us are simply not buying cars for the next 15 or 20 years, but just hiring them for the next 15 or 20 years because every car is actually a robot-mini-van-taxi? When we OWN cars, we own the 4 costs of insuring, servicing, fuelling, and buying the car. But if we’re getting by on trains and trams and bicycles and now and then hiring a robot-taxi, surely we’ll be sharing the 4 costs with the other users that day. And as battery tech evolves in the ongoing market war between any surviving car manufacturers in this ever decreasing car space (because car-as-product is dying and transport-as-service is evolving), and as 1 robot car might displace 10 to 20 family cars, aren’t we all just going to see cheaper and cheaper trips?

  62. W.h/kg is highly desirable, but at this point in tech development for cars, W.h/$ is the real factor that changes the market.

    The weight has reached the point where the average user isn’t really needing a lighter vehicle (hard core sports car fans excepted). But the price of an EV is still limiting the market.

    However for electric trucks, planes and ships this is not the case yet.

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