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  • G. David Felt
    G. David Felt

    ION Storage, the Future Battery of America and the World?

      Is a $574,275 government grant to the University of Maryland Chemistry lab the future battery of the American BEVs?

    Started in 2013 at the University of Maryland Chemistry lab, ceramic solid-state batteries we the brainchild of Dr. Greg Hitz and Dr. Eric Wachsman. The focus was to increase energy density while making it safer and this gained attention when Samsung Note Phones, especially the Note 7 started to catch fire in 2016.

    As per the Wall Street story, the United States is far behind the global rivals in the race for energy supremacy in the Green New World. With this, the idea is to catch up and surpass the competition by having a safer energy dense battery. What was a small investment at the beginning by the department of energy has now grown with $8 million in seed money in 2019 into a full-blown battery business called ION Storage.

    ION Storage will start production on a cell phone size battery pack for the U.S. soldiers which has 50% increase in energy density for the same size and weight of current flammable lithium-ion batteries.

    Now comes the award from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC, a group created in 1992 for advanced research of batteries for the auto industry that has been headed by GM, FORD and Stellantis (Formerly FCA) with input from the DOE. This USABC assessment program contract with ION Storage is a 15 month project that will demonstrate the ION Storage Systems high-rate, high-energy density, solid-state batteries as a safe and versatile option for a wide range of automotive applications that includes a 50% cost share with the USABC.

    The DOE believes that the electrochemical energy storage is a key enabling technology for advanced, fuel-efficient, light and heavy-duty vehicle application.

    The Tehcnologies and Teams that the USABC is working on are as follows, advanced propulsion, electrical/electronics, energy storage, hydrogen and fuel cell, manufacturing, materials and of course safety, you can read everything here: 

    USCAR: Technologies & Teams

    ION Storage Systems has contracts for their solid-state batteries which will go to the Defense and aerospace customers allowing an expected generation of revenue by the end of 2023.

    CREB, center for research in extreme batteries showcased ION Storage Systems in January of 2022.

    ION Storage Systems has 4 distinct industry verticals that they are focused on:

    • Defense & Aerospace
    • Consumer Electronics
    • Electric Vehicles
    • Grid Storage

    The Defense and Aerospace segment is needing a safe battery for deployment into extreme use cases with a wide operating temperature and significant energy density over current battery tech that is made in America. Here ION Storage had hit all requirements. 

    Consumer electronics is a space with huge growth potential as battery density in the same packaging is a drive by all tech companies for their latest product releases from cell phones to laptops and ION believes their 50% increase in energy density delivers on that. Due to the Samsung phone fires of years past, nonflammable batteries are another requirement and here ION delivers along with the need for extreme temperature operating range. Just think of your current 8hr battery life on a cell phone now being 12hrs in the same form factor and with dramatically reduced charge time which ION has shown. ION is the only Solid-State battery tech that has achieved the ARPA-E and DOE VTO fast-charge goals for Li-cycling at room temperature, reducing the need for complex cooling.

    Electric vehicles are another space where ION batteries can really benefit the industry. A low cost per kWh, increased energy density extending EV range, shorter wait times with DOE achieved fast charging in a wide range of temperatures again reducing the need for complex cooling systems and mass and a simple battery that has reduced dead space and compression.

    The final vertical as stated above is the Grid Storage where again low cost per kWh, energy density is a win, but better yet is the nonflammable nature of these batteries and with no complex cooling required, an increase in roundtrip efficiency of electrical storage.

    We have covered many batteries startup companies here at Cheers and Gears and they all bring something different to the table. Solid-State is the next level of batteries for many industries and ION is a unique one based on Ceramic. Let's take a closer look at this battery tech. ION Storage Systems has posted a very clear powerpoint type web page and as such, we have the following slides:

    Here is an example of comparing ION Solid-State battery cell to the competition.

    ION Storage Systems has a simple philosophy about who they are:

    WE ARE a carefully cultivated team of seasoned battery industry geeks who know inside and out how batteries have always been made. We're passionate about power! No, not that kind of power. We know how batteries should work and more importantly, what keeps them from working as well as they could.

    THAT'S WHY we knew we had to shake-up how batteries were made if we were going to make YOU a better battery. You know that old saying - doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity! Well, that's what other companies have been doing with Lithium Ion for over 30 years.

    SO WE re-imagined not just how batteries are made but what makes them. We merged two technologies that no one's merged before, and the results are a battery that's simply remarkable. And yeah, we're a little cocky about it. We make sure your batteries are safer and stronger - so your products can protect their users and outlast the competition. They're lighter and more rugged - removing design barriers you've had to live with for way too long.

    AND WE do it right here in Maryland. Imagine that - shaping the future right here in the U.S.A. America's always been a powerful place. We're delighted to be a part of powering America's next=generation of possibility.

    TAP INTO THE POWER OF ION

    That pretty much sums up the latest battery tech company that is making waves and looks to power your auto today and the future BEVs of America and then the world.

    For those that want to read about other battery companies, you can also look at the last battery story here:

     

    U.S. Bets on Faster-Charging Battery in Race to Catch Energy Rivals - WSJ

    Prince George’s startup Ion Storage Systems raises $30M to make batteries for the Army and others - Washington Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

    Media | Ion Storage Systems

    Ion Storage Systems Intrinsically Safe Solid State Battery

    Defense Sector Continues Support of Ion Storage’s Extreme “Soldier” Battery | Business Wire

    USCAR: News Release: USABC AWARDS $487,310 BEYOND LITHIUM-ION TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT PROGRAM CONTRACT TO ION STORAGE SYSTEMS

    USCAR: The United States Council for Automotive Research


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