Tucson-based Sion Power to release high-power rechargeable lithium-metal battery for electric vehicles

lithium-metal battery

Sion Power, a manufacturer of high-energy, lithium-metal rechargeable batteries, is introducing its Licerion rechargeable electric vehicle battery capable of storing 400 wh/kg, a number that Tesla and other battery companies haven’t yet reached. 

The Tucson-based company will unveil its 17 Ah Licerion EV cell at The Battery Show North America in Novi, Michigan in September. The battery was designed with next-generation electric vehicle applications in mind, with a focus on high energy density, increased cycle life, safety and fast charging capability. 

“This is a watershed moment for Sion Power’s push toward next-generation electrified vehicles,” Sion Power CEO Tracy Kelley said in a statement. 

This is also further evidence that Arizona is becoming quite a hub for EV and EV battery manufacturers. 

Sion Power has relied on decades of research and development in rechargeable lithium-metal battery technology to develop the Licerion cell. According to a statement from the company, independent testing of 6 Ah Licerion EV batteries reached over 800 cycles. A drive cycle measures vehicle performance and analyzes battery state and energy consumption. These cycles demonstrated fast charge capability of 80% charge in 15 minutes, excellent power capability and safety. 

Sion Power’s battery cell is a significant improvement on the batteries used in Tesla’s models. 

Tesla’s newest, most robust 4680 battery is capable of storing up to 380 wh/kg. The improved battery was announced in September 2020. The battery will amount to a 54% improvement on the Panasonic 2170 cells, which are used in the Tesla Model 3, Ben Prochazka, national director of the Electrification Coalition, told Utility Dive

However, it could take years for the new battery to be available. As a result, Tesla plans to increase its purchases of batteries from Panasonic, as well as from LG and other battery manufacturers. 

Sion Power is a privately held company with over 470 international patents and patent applications, according to the company’s announcement. 

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished,” Kelley said. “Our Licerion-EV technology has demonstrated a blend of energy, safety, and electrical performance that is unmatched.”