PolyPlus was awarded a $9 million grant from the Department of Energy's Innovative Manufacturing Initiative for "Innovative manufacturing of protected lithium electrodes for ultra high energy density batteries."
The project in collaboration with Johnson Controls and Corning will fund a pilot line to make a key component for lithium-water, lithium-air, and lithium-sulfur batteries, new chemistries the company hopes will extend the driving range of electric vehicles, in turn saving 100 trillion Btus of energy annually.
PolyPlus is one of only 13 companies to receive an award from the DoE who awarded more than $54 million to companies. These projects are a part of the Obama Administration's strategy for investing in emerging technologies that create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. companies in today's global markets.
The PolyPlus lithium-water battery has achieved the highest energy density ever recorded at 1,300 Wh/kg, many times more than the maximum delivered by current lithium-ion batteries. Aimed at the marine market, the battery boasts an extremely long lifetime, making it ideal for such applications as underwater robots or unmanned, underwater vehicles. The company is currently testing samples of the battery, expects the product to be commercially available in 2013, and has already built a list of several companies who have committed to buy the product.
The company is also working on a lithium-air rechargeable battery with exceptional energy density, which is advantageous for products such as portable electronics. Its rechargeable lithium air batteries hold the promise of achieving the "holy grail" for electric vehicles - 500 miles per charge. A new generation of lithium-sulfur batteries aimed at the electric vehicle space is another technology under development.
For more read Car Traction Batteries - The New Gold Rush 2012-2022.