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News Link • Energy

A Trick for Making Batteries Safer Could Also Make EVs Affordable

• http://www.technologyreview.com, By Kevin Bullis
 Bulky and expensive batteries are the bane of electric vehicles. A new MIT spinoff company, SolidEnergy, says it has a solution: materials that can increase the amount of energy that lithium-ion batteries store by 30 percent or more and lower costs enough to make electric vehicles affordable.

The startup recently raised $4.5 million in its first round of venture funding. It is working with A123 Venture Technologies, part of the battery maker A123 Systems, to scale up the technology and bring it to market.

SolidEnergy replaces the graphite electrode used in conventional lithium-ion batteries with a high-energy lithium-metal one. That’s been tried before, but the metal tends to cause short circuits and fires. So the company has also developed improved electrolytes to make them safer. It plans to sell materials to battery manufacturers, rather than making batteries itself.

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