Currently, the best rechargeable battery technology that we have available, whether it be for laptops, mobile devices, smartgrid applications, or electric vehicles [EV], is lithium-ion [Li-ion]. There are other battery chemistries out there that promise increased capacity and efficiency, but haven’t been perfected yet, and this is part of the reason why, especially in relation to smartgrids and EVs, some battery startups have failed to get off the ground.
Recently, A123 Systems was acquired by Chinese parts supplier Wanxiang after it declared bankruptcy, and another battery maker, Ener1, also filed for bankruptcy last year.
Leyden Energy, previously Mobius Power, still thinks there’s plenty of room for innovation in Li-ion battery technology, and has recently switched its focus from traction batteries for EVs and smartgrid applications to tablets and start-stop engine technology. Leyden’s advancements in both electrolyte and electrode materials has led to the development of Li-ion batteries that are thinner than most, which makes them ideal candidates for installation in laptops and tablets.
Leyden is also developing rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs for engine start-stop technology [SST], a recent innovation that stops the engine when the vehicle is coming to a stop or would otherwise be idling. As soon as the driver releases the brake pedal, the engine starts again. Fuel wasted during idling is eliminated, making SST vehicles more efficient overall. Since batteries installed in SST vehicles are used much more often to start the engine, a stronger and longer-lasting new battery is needed, and these are also part of Leyden’s new focus.
This doesn’t mean that EV battery development is going to be left on the back burner, though, since most Li-ion battery technology is scalable. The same Li-ion battery basics that are in our mobile devices can be found in the strongest EV, just on a different scale. While Leyden shifts focus to keep itself afloat, it’ll still be well-positioned to release the next-generation Li-ion, or other chemistry, EV battery. Since its inception in 2007, Mobius Power / Leyden Energy has raised over $45 million to commercialize their technology.