Lithium-Metal Batteries, Are They For Real?

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Many prophets arrive in times of dire trouble promising the earth salvation. Likewise, the battery world has had its share. And with climate change biting hard, the fight is on to find new battery solutions. We have known for a while that a lithium-metal anode could take twice the load of lithium-ion. Now the blue Massachusetts start up, Pellion technologies, announced they finally got lithium-metal batteries right.

Quartz.Com Announces Lithium-Metal Batteries Already Selling

lithium-metal batteries

Lithium-Metal Cell: Paul Albertus ET AL: Nature.Com

Several promises of lithium-metal batteries have come and gone down the years after never progressing beyond laboratories. However, Quartz has heard that Pellion “has already been selling their battery to at least one buyer since February”.

It says the “new innovation” packs twice the energy of conventional lithium-ion. That’s twice the flying range for your drone. And potentially double the storage capacity for the renewable energy we must have. Moreover, and here’s the big one: “its lithium-metal batteries have the potential to power a Tesla car for 500 miles on a single charge, rather than today’s upper limits of 250”.

However, the New Battery Technology Does Have Limitations

lithium-metal batteries

Global Electric Car Sales: Mariordo: CC 4.0

Quartz let slip that Pellion’s lithium-metal battery can only achieve a guaranteed 50 discharging-charging cycles. Therefore, they have a way to go before reaching the lucrative smartphone-electric car market. Because the liquid electrolyte “fundamentally limits” the recycling potential.

The news site knows of ten other companies developing lithium-metal batteries. These include Ion Storage Systems, PolyPlus, Sion Power, and Solid Energy Systems who all claim to be validating them. “Battery start-ups struggle to find customers for their early products,” says Venkat Srinivasan researcher at Argonne National Laboratory.

Commercializing new batteries is a challenge. We think the latest round of prophets are onto something, and we wish them every success in their respective ventures.


Lithium Metal Batteries’ Giant Leap

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Preview Image: Commercial Drone


About Author


I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will not deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time. My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast. I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned. Richard Farrell

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