CU-Boulder spinoff Solid Power developing solid-state battery to extend EV range

By: InnovatioNews Thursday September 19, 2013 0 comments Tags: Boulder, Conrad Stoldt, CU-Boulder, Douglas Campbell, Mike Freeman, Se-He Lee, Solid Power

University of Colorado logoBOULDER - CU-Boulder researchers are developing a cutting-edge battery technology that could allow electric vehicles of the future to travel twice as far on a charge than they can now, the university announced.

CU's Technology Transfer Office has completed an agreement with Solid Power LLC - a CU-Boulder spinoff company founded by Se-He Lee and Conrad Stoldt, associate professors of mechanical engineering - for the development and commercialization of an innovative solid-state rechargeable battery.

Solid Power, a client of Fort Collins incubator Rocky Mountain Innosphere, was also recently awarded a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy for the purpose of creating a battery that can improve electric vehicle driving range, CU said.

The rechargeable batteries in standard use in today's electric vehicles are lithium-ion batteries. The batteries require a bulky amount of devices to protect and cool them, as illustrated by a fire aboard a Boeing Dreamliner in January that had an onboard lithium-ion battery.

CU said Lee and Stoldt solved the battery safety concerns by eliminating the liquid electrolyte and instead built an entirely solid-state battery that uses a ceramic electrolyte to separate the lithium metal anode from the cathode.

Because the solid-state battery is far safer, it requires less protective packaging, which could reduce the weight of the battery system and help extend electric vehicle range.

"The real innovation is an all-solid composite cathode that is based upon an iron-sulfur chemistry that we developed at CU," Stoldt said. "This new, low-cost chemistry has a capacity that's nearly 10 times greater than state-of-the-art cathodes."

"We're very excited about the opportunity to achieve commercial success for the all solid-state rechargeable battery," said Douglas Campbell, Solid Power's president.

"We're actively engaging industrial commercial partners to assist in commercialization and expect to have prototype products ready for in-field testing within 18 to 24 months."

"We're very excited to be working with Solid Power's team to get them to the next level," said Mike Freeman, Rocky Mountain Innosphere CEO. "This is a big deal to Colorado's cleantech space. Solid Power's batteries will have a huge impact in the EV market, and they have a potential$20 billion market for their technology."

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