This anodeless, compressionless solid-state battery could be the next big thing [Update]

Maryland-based ION Storage Systems is about to dramatically accelerate the commercialization of its unique solid-state batteries (SSBs).

As part of a three-year partnership, ION will receive $20 million from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) SCALEUP program. SCALEUP aims to help ARPA-E-funded technologies transition from proof-of-concept prototypes to commercially scalable and deployable products. ION is also receiving $20 million in private funds. 

As part of the $40 million commercialization initiative, ION is collaborating with global ceramics, glass, and material supplier Saint-Gobain and semiconductor process and quality control company KLA to bring its SSBs to market.

Dr. Evelyn N. Wang, ARPA-E director, said:

Accelerating the widespread adoption of electric vehicles requires increasing driving range, reducing costs, and improving safety.

Ion Storage Systems – through an earlier ARPA-E program – focused on working toward these goals, and now, through SCALEUP, the company will accelerate domestic manufacturing of next-generation solid-state, high-power-density lithium-metal batteries based on ION’s proprietary ceramic electrolyte manufacturing technology.

ION Storage Systems has one of the largest SSB factories in the US.

March 6, 2024: ION Storage Systems‘ anodeless and compressionless solid-state batteries successfully achieved and exceeded 125 cycles with less than 5% capacity degradation in performance. This is no small matter because this isn’t a typical solid-state battery, and this achievement means potential for 1,000 cycles and up in future deployments.

Solid-state batteries are a hot topic because they promise a potentially safer and more robust alternative to lithium-ion batteries. ION’s SSBs stand out because they ditch conventional anode materials like graphite for a unique 3-D ceramic structure. This not only makes the batteries safer (since they don’t need as much protective gear or cooling) but also easier and cheaper to manufacture at scale.

The company first went to market with the US military, and it’s working with the US Department of Defense to test and develop its solid-state battery before expanding into other markets, including EVs and long-duration energy storage. 

ION’s solid-state battery is the only compressionless solid-state battery technology to achieve the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy and the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office’s fast-charge goals at room temperature. 

Ricky Hanna, CEO of ION Storage Systems, said, “Since day one, our objective has been to craft an advanced solid-state battery that offers a more powerful, reliable, and safer battery manufactured at scale, and this achievement is a pivotal step toward that vision.”

In September 2023, after a successful pilot program, ION announced a multi-year supply agreement for ceramics powder with multinational giant Saint-Gobain Ceramics, positioning itself to scale its anodeless, compressionless solid-state batteries.

Read more: Harvard develops a solid state battery that charges in minutes

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