Issue: Mar 2008


New material increases range of an electric vehicle over 200 miles compared to 120-140 miles range a



by John Larkin

Hybrid Technologies emerging leaders in the development and marketing of lithium-powered products worldwide, announces a successful move toward development of a new cathode material which will be incorporated to a Lithium Ion Polymer Battery that significantly increases operating voltage range and energy density.

The company’s new Lithium Ion Polymer battery consists of a new cathode material with a “Superlattice Structure” allowing electric vehicles to be driven over 200 miles compared to the current 120 to 140 mile range and operates at a wide voltage range of 4.3V to 2V. The pure material was produced in-house and has been synthesized at an industrial scale.

Dr. Surajit Sengupta, Director of Battery R&D at Hybrid Technologies, states “our objective is to create the next generation of lithium ion polymer battery that is environmentally non-toxic, safe, less expensive and more powerful.”

Research and Development Details follow:

Obstacles of Commercially Available Cathode Materials;
Lithium Cobalt and Nickel oxides: At present the most widely used cathode material is LiCoO2 for lithium ion secondary batteries. Another promising material is LiNiO2, however, toxicity and high cost are issues for the cobalt and nickel based layered oxides. A considerable investment has been made in this battery technology that utilizes LiCoO2 with an operating voltage range of 4.2 to 2.75V. Research shows that during operation at high temperature LiCoO2 shows an exothermic reaction which eventually generates loose oxygen and cause fire hazards.

Lithium Manganese Oxide and Spinel: Recently, manganese based oxides such as LiMn2O4 spinel and LiMnO2 layered oxides have been studied extensively. The reason was manganese is abundant in nature, less expensive and non-toxic. The situations encountered using manganese was significant capacity fading which is due to dissolution of manganese in the form of Mn+2. Capacity of this spinel is only 120 Ah/kg and voltage range is a two step complicated solid solution reaction.

Lithium Iron Phosphate: At present lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, is widely used and under investigation considering its low cost and safety. The challenge of this material is that it has a low operating voltage within the range of 3.4V to 2.9V and nominal voltage is 3.2V only. Energy density and voltage range is very low compared to oxide layered and spinel structure.
Lithium Mixed Oxides: The cathode material with a formulation of LiMn1/3Co1/3Ni1/3O2 is the latest technology. However, the material structure is destroyed once discharged at or below 2.5V and thus limit the use of wide range voltage application.

Ultimate Objectives of Next Generation Lithium Ion Battery:

Several researchers are modeling new cathode materials with “Superlattice Structure”, a structure where part of transition metal is substituted by lithium and the desired properties must include:

Less or zero exothermic reaction and safe.
Wide voltage range from 4.4V to 2V (High voltage is limited to electrolyte).
High Capacity 170 Ah/kg or more.
Non toxic and disposable.
Less expensive.
Projection of Hybrid Technologies Battery Research and Developments: Seldom have newly invented materials been tested in large scale production with most only being tested in limited small laboratory scale failing to implement the desired properties in large proportion production. Hybrid Technologies will synthesize all potential material in industrial levels and use it in high degree battery production. Our philosophy is to bring potential battery materials from laboratory scale to industrial scale.

Hybrid Technologies has started in house production of all “Superlattice Structure” in a higher density and optimizing the process parameters suitable for large batteries which will be used not only in electric vehicles but also in the field of “Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)”.

Research works at Hybrid Technologies:

At present Hybrid Technologies Inc. is using lithium ion polymer battery using a manganese based cathode materials with 100Ah capacity per cell. The capacity of the material is around 120 Ah/kg.

To overcome this limitation, the battery division of Hybrid Technologies is conducting research on a series of cathode materials with superlattice structure. The objectives of this research are to model different cathode structures and optimize process parameters to obtain a single phase and pure material in industrial scale.

Research Success Phase 1:
Hybrid Technologies R&D division has successfully synthesized a cathode material with a superlattice oxide structure and the material is based on manganese, cobalt, nickel and titanium. In the first batch 100 kg of phase pure material has been produced.

The success summary:

Pure material has been synthesized in industrial scale.
Operating Voltage range and Maximum Capacity Comparison:

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