Amprius Technologies has announced what it describes as a breakthrough in battery charging rates that could significantly boost the performance of electric vehicles, including eVTOL models. The U.S.-based start-up says that using its proprietary Si-Nanowire anode platform, it achieved a 0 to 80 percent charge rate for silicon anode Lithium-Ion battery cells in just six minutes.
The company says the result of the trial has been independently verified by Mobile Power Solutions and meets the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium’s goal of achieving an 80 percent charge in less than 15 minutes by 2025. It claims that an unnamed Fortune 100 company is now evaluating the Si-Nanowire technology.
Amprius, which is already providing battery cells for several drone applications, intends to offer the technology to companies developing larger electric aircraft. It is moving to achieve mass production rates for its cells of hundreds of megawatt-hours per year and expects to initiate a major ramp-up in 2024.
“These results confirm the significant benefits of our Si-Nanowire anode for electric vehicle applications, where fast charge and high energy density are essential,” said Amprius’s chief operating officer, Jon Bornstein. “The need to shorten charge times extends well beyond the rapidly growing electric vehicle market and into broader electric mobility markets, including micro-mobility and aviation.”
According to Amprius, its battery cell has a specific energy of 370 Wh/kg and supports applications that need very high sustained power. The fast charge capability is already available for some in-production cells, including those being used for power-intensive drone applications.
In October, ABB E-mobility announced plans to develop MegaWatt-class fast-charging equipment for Lilium’s seven-seat eVTOL aircraft. The Switzerland-based power and automation specialist will provide the infrastructure in time to support its planned launch of commercial flights of up to 155 miles in Florida, Germany, and Brazil in 2024.
The charging points are intended to be capable of fully recharging batteries in around 30 minutes, or charging up to 80 percent in 15 minutes. The German manufacturer says this will allow each of its Lilium Jets to make between 20 and 25 daily flights across its planned network of vertiports.