Leyden Energy providing Li-ion cells with imide electrolyte for electric Dream Car

Li-ion battery manufacturer Leyden Energy provided its high energy-density, high-performance Li-ion battery cells for SSI Racing’s electric Dream Car at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Dream Car, which holds three world records and accelerates from 0-60 mph in three seconds, was on display at the Long Beach Convention Center from 15-17 April.

Leyden Energy, formerly known as Mobius Power, Inc., was founded in 2007 under a uniform cell heat distribution technology patent acquired from chemical manufacturer Dupont. This seed technology served as the foundation for subsequent Leyden research which perfected the patent and, in turn, led to the current chemical platform, which uses an imide electrolyte. The successful development of this technology has made possible heat resistant, energy-dense Lithium-ion cell technology, which is now Leyden’s core offering.

We replace the standard salt in the electrolyte, LiPF6, with imide salt. Many people have tried to perfect it; the main benefit is high temperature, high calendar life, and no degradation on the cathode side. However, it has the annoying habit of corroding the entire system. We have managed to deliver zero corrosion over thousands of cycles.

—Aakar Patel, president and CEO of Leyden Energy

Leyden Energy’s 18650 cylindrical cell is engineered using patented Lithium Imide electrolyte salt and graphite foil current collectors. This results in a product with improved energy density, superior product life and optimal safety, capable of operating in high temperature environments. The 3.7V Li-Ion battery has 2,200 mAh capacity with a cycle life of more than 1,000 charge/discharge cycles. It can be operated in environments with temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C and relative humidity levels up to 95%.

The 18650 meets UL1642 and UN/IMU requirements and has overcharge, short circuit, reverse charge and overheating safety features. This battery is optimal for consumer electronics and custom-designed portable applications and is currently available. Leyden has also developed a 10 Ah pouch cell.

SSI Racing’s use of Leyden Energy’s cylindrical battery cells in SSI Racing’s Dream Car—a converted 1965 coupe—will be the first time that Leyden Energy’s cylindrical form factor will be deployed in an electric vehicle.

Leyden is striving for chemistry independence, and is using both LCO and NCM chemistries with its imide electrolyte, Patel says. One of the other benefits of an imide electrolyte is no gassing. Some cells will balloon in embedded applications, blowing the bottom of the case. Leyden pouches don’s balloon, Patel says, making them attractive for embedded applications such as the iPad and iPhone.

Also on display at the Grand Prix was the E2/SSI Electric Conversion Kit featuring the E2 drive train and the new Interchangeable Leyden Battery Module, which is designed to be utilized in a number of different configurations for cars and small trucks. Once systems have been tested and perfected, the E2/SSI Electric Conversion Kit and the Interchangeable Leyden Battery Module will be the first complete EV conversion kit available for the public to purchase.

Earlier this year, Leyden Energy received a contract from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) with a specific focus on developing electromechanical energy storage technologies which supports the commercialization of hybrid and electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)

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