As part of its ARPA-E EVs4ALL (Electric Vehicles for American Low-carbon Living) project, Zeta Energy has begun constructing very high-density electrodes and carrying out extreme temperature testing of battery cells.
The announcement follows the company being awarded a grant of US$4m in federal funding in January 2023 to develop efficient EV batteries under the ARPA-E EVs4ALL program. The program has four key targets – each deemed vital to achieving the broad market acceptance and use of EVs.
These are: reducing battery recharging time to 5-15 minutes; reducing low temperature performance losses; increasing energy retention to 90% capacity after 200,000 miles of cumulative range; and lowering the cost of batteries to under US$75/kWh at commercial production scale.
“The results so far have been excellent,” said Rodrigo Salvatierra, chief science officer, Zeta Energy. “Our electrodes have already achieved a density that exceeds the targets we had planned for the project. We are now engaged in extreme temperature testing of cells built from our electrodes, and so far, we have shown that the batteries work at -20°C. We will be expanding our tests to even lower temperatures.”
“This ARPA-E project is really important because it focuses on improving battery performance while reducing battery costs,” added Todd Foley, head of government and investor relations, Zeta Energy. “Both of these objectives are crucial to the widespread market adoption of EVs. Zeta Energy’s breakthrough lithium sulfur battery technology is ideal for this project because it uses only widely available domestic feedstocks and thus supports US competitiveness in developing a domestic supply chain for advanced battery production.”
By using a combination of Zeta Energy’s 3D-structured lithium metal anode and its sulfurized carbon cathode, the company estimates it will achieve and exceed the targets set out in the EVs4ALL project. The anode technology uses a significantly higher energy density of lithium metal while still avoiding safety hazards and lifecycle problems created by dendrites in other lithium metal anodes.
Additionally, the pairing of the anode with the sulfurized-carbon cathode also suppresses the formation of soluble polysulfides, resulting in sulfur-based batteries which are stated to deliver stability and performance at a low cost.