Cuberg (Safe lithium battery for EVs and eVTOL)

Cuberg, an American battery company founded in 2015, was acquired by Northvolt in 2021. Cuberg operates as Northvolt's Advanced Technology Center and focuses on developing sustainable, high-quality lithium metal battery cells and systems. Cuberg has achieved a breakthrough in lithium metal batteries that deliver increased range and capacity by 60% versus conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Challenges: lithium battery

After several decades of development, the performance lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is approaching the fundamental limits of the materials that comprise the batteries. However, two major drawbacks of the Li-ion battery technology could limit or hinder their application in the expansion of Li-ion-powered  electric vehicles.

First, the energy density of Li-ion batteries is intrinsically limited. It can be challenging to achieve specific energy beyond 300 Wh/kg at the cell level. With today’s Li-ion batteries, electric vehicles would be heavy and require frequent charging. Anode materials that have been used to increase energy density include lithium metal. However, the Li metal anode is incompatible with conventional Li-ion electrolytes based on organic carbonate solvents due to electrolyte decomposition and depletion, resistance growth, and, ultimately, a very short cycle life.

Second, traditional Li-ion electrolytes based on organic carbonate solvents are volatile, which makes the operation of rechargeable Li-ion batteries very dangerous. If heated internally above a threshold temperature due to internal short circuit, overcharge, and/or puncture, they will almost instantly go into thermal runaway, releasing large amounts of heat and energy. The engineering of pack-level safety can easily reduce energy density and specific energy by 30% or more. It also increases the cost and time to the development process of new battery technologies.

Therefore, there is a need to develop stable high energy density batteries based on a metallic anode and a stable, non-flammable electrolyte. Some startups, such as Adden Energy, developed safe and high energy density batteries based on lithium metal anode and solid-state electrolyte.

Cuberg Technology

Cuberg develops high energy density and stable rechargeable batteries with lithium-magnesium (Li-Mg) metal alloy anode and non-flammable ionic liquid electrolyte. Cuberg batteries are fully compatible with current manufacturing technology, allowing for a straightforward easy scaling up of its batteries.

Cuberg battery

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