The DOE has announced FY2020 federal funding for projects that support new and innovative advanced vehicle technologies. Enovix has been selected to advance R&D on lithium-ion batteries using silicon-based anodes. The selection, recommended by the Vehicle Technologies Office, authorizes Enovix to complete negotiations for a $3.2-million federal award funded through the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The project is designed to conduct research in advanced batteries and manufacturing in support of the DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge—a comprehensive strategy to establish US leadership in energy storage technology.
CEO Harrold Rust said, “We are pleased with our selection by DOE and excited to advance our patented silicon-anode technology to lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. This is an important step in our business model to commercialize our 3D silicon lithium-ion battery in the portable electronics market next year, while we simultaneously develop high-performance, low-cost cells for the EV market.”
The Enovix project, “Structurally and Electrochemically Stabilized Silicon-rich Anodes for Electric Vehicle (EV) Applications,” proposes to achieve energy density over 350 Wh/kg, a lifespan of more than 1,000 cycles, and 10-year calendar life with a greater than 95% active silicon anode using a combination of Enovix patented 3D cell architecture and optimized electrolyte chemistry. Mitsubishi Chemical and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have agreed to support Enovix with the project. Mitsubishi will work with Enovix to optimize electrolyte chemistry, and NREL will provide silicon-anode modeling with an emphasis on chemistry aspects of the interface between the electrolyte and silicon anode.
Enovix says it demonstrated 100% active silicon-anode lithium-ion cells with energy density over 900 Wh/l and full-depth-of-discharge cycle life over 500 in 2019. In March 2020, the company announced that it had secured $45 million in new funds to produce and commercialize its 3D silicon lithium-ion battery, and that it had agreements with four customers to develop and produce silicon-anode lithium-ion batteries for portable electronic devices. The production facility is presently under construction at company headquarters in Fremont, California. Enovix expects to complete construction and begin commercial deliveries to customers in 2021.