Advanced Li-ion Chemistry for Safer and Greener Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Systems

South 8 Technologies


San Diego, CA

Recipient Location


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Project Status

Project Update

The Issue

Today's lithium-ion batteries were designed for consumer electronics. With a push towards grid-storage batteries and electric vehicles to curb carbon emissions, a new generation of batteries with improved performance are required. Improvements to the energy density, cost, recyclability, and safety metrics of lithium batteries are restricted by electrolyte chemistry.

Project Innovation

The purpose of this Agreement is to fund the development of liquefied gas electrolytes for their use in Li-ion cells with superior performance metrics compared to the state-of-practice. Development will focus on utilizing a graphite anode, high-nickel cathode, and demonstration of high cell safety and recyclability with a focus on their use in energy storage system (ESS) or electric vehicle applications.

Project Benefits

This project, if successful, will advance Li ion batteries to have an increase in battery pack level energy density, reduce thermal runaway and safety concerns, and lower costs while utilizing the mainstream manufacturing processes and equipment. Therefore, if successful, the technology can be extended to several advanced Li-ion anode and cathode chemistries, resulting in broadening of the potential customer base to include battery original equipment manufacturers (OEM)s as well as developers and customers for stationary energy storage and suppliers of EVs. Developing this technology for Li ion will be a near term market to also bring the tehcnologies application to lithium metal batteries closer to commercialization.

Lower Costs


This project aims to save California Investor-Owned Utility ratepayers money via lower utility bills through lower cost ESS coming online and through lower cost Electric Vehicles, both on the sale and charging of the vehicle. Whether it is an ESS or an EV, South 8 is able to provide a more cost-effective solution through lower cathode cost, improved manufacturing, improved safety, and improved recyclability.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

Using these models, we may instead estimate the savings from the life of the battery over 2,000 cycles at 100% depth of discharge, over ten years (minimum life of the battery). This cycle profile would be equivalent to 200 MWh of energy savings per year per MWh storage facility. CO2 emissions for California is estimated at 730 lbs per MWh.

Increase Safety


One of the biggest focuses on this project is to demonstrate improved safety of the lithium gas electrolyte as it applies to Energy Storage for grid storage as well as Electric Vehicles. In contrast to conventional Li-ion cells, under physical or electrical abuse South 8 cells will rapidly vent the non-hazardous lithium gas electrolyte out from the cell through a built in vent in the cell. With no electrolyte within the cell, thermal runaway or thermal propagation reactions will not occur and the cell will shut-down safely without any flame or fire.

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