Japanese startup Power Japan Plus has launched a new battery technology that generates twice as much energy as a lithium ion battery and charges 20 times faster. The technology could lead to cheaper long-range electric vehicles (EV) that can travel hundreds of miles on a charge and be charged in minutes rather than hours.
Named after the Japanese god of lightning, Power Japan Plus told the Atlantic that the Ryden dual carbon battery makes use of a completely unique chemistry, with both the anode and the cathode made of carbon sourced from modified organic cotton fibers. The company says the new battery design balances the need for cost-competitive energy storage that is energy-dense, reliable, safe and sustainable.
Some of the battery’s features include:
- Cost Competitive — slots directly into existing manufacturing processes, requiring no change to existing manufacturing lines. The battery also allows for consolidation of the supply chain, with only one active material — carbon. Additionally, manufacturing of the Ryden battery is under no threat of supply disruption or price spikes from rare metals, rare earth or heavy metals.
- Reliable — first-ever high-performance battery that meets consumer lifecycle demand, rated for more than 3,000 charge/discharge cycles.
- High Performance — as mentioned above, the battery is energy-dense and charges 20 times faster than lithium ion batteries. It also is more powerful than other advanced batteries, operating above four volts.
- Safe — safest high-performance battery chemistry ever developed. The battery eliminates the unstable active material used in other high performance batteries, greatly reducing fire and explosion hazard. The battery experiences minimal thermal change during operation, eliminating the threat of a thermal runaway. Finally, the Ryden battery can be 100 percent charged and discharged with no damage to the battery.
- Sustainable — contains no rare metals, rare earth metals or heavy metals, and is 100 percent recyclable, vastly improving the cradle-to-cradle sustainability of an advanced battery. Even further, Power Japan Plus is testing the Ryden battery with its organic Carbon Complex material (the result of modifying the cotton fibers), working towards the goal of producing the battery with all organic carbon in the future.
Power Japan Plus says it will begin benchmark production of 18650 Ryden cells later this year at the company’s production facility in Okinawa. This facility will allow the company to meet demand for specialty energy storage markets such as medical devices and satellites. For larger demand industries, such as electric vehicles, Power Japan Plus will operate under a licensing business model, providing technology and expertise to existing battery manufacturers to produce the Ryden battery.
The Japanese battery innovations could be an interesting development for Tesla’s electric vehicles, which operate with lithium ion batteries. However, Tesla’s EVs already won significant street cred (pun intended) last month when a Model S sedan completed a 24-day, 12,183-mile battery-powered journey across the United States as part of an effort to secure Guinness World Record verification for longest vehicle journey ever taken using 100 percent electric power.
Power Japan Plus is not the only Japanese company to innovate with batteries. In February, Japanese multinational corporation Sumitomo announced that it had developed and installed the world's first large-scale power storage system that utilizes used electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. Over the next three years, the system will measure the smoothing effect of energy output fluctuation from the nearby Hikari-no-mori solar farm, and will aim to establish a large-scale power storage technology by safely and effectively utilizing the huge quantities of discarded used EV batteries which will become available in the future.