Harvard-backed startup develops EV battery tech with over 10K cycles

US-based startup Adden Energy has achieved solid-state battery charge rates as fast as three minutes with over 10,000 cycles in a lifetime in lab settings.

The startup has now been granted technology license from Harvard University to scale innovative lithium-metal battery technology for commercial deployment.

“We have achieved in the lab 5,000 to 10,000 charge cycles in a battery’s lifetime, compared with 2,000 to 3,000 charging cycles for even the best in class now, and we don’t see any fundamental limit to scaling up our battery technology. That could be a game changer,” said Xin Li, associate professor of materials science at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

The battery also offers high energy density and a level of material stability that overcomes the safety challenges posed by some other lithium batteries, according to results published in Nature and other journals.

Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has now granted an exclusive technology license to Adden Energy.

Adden Energy has closed a seed round with $5.15 million in funding led by Primavera Capital Group, with participation by Rhapsody Venture Partners and MassVentures.

The license and the venture funding will enable the startup to scale Harvard’s laboratory prototype toward commercial deployment of a solid-state lithium-metal battery that may provide reliable and fast charging for future EVs to help bring them into the mass market.

The startup aims to scale the battery up to a palm-sized pouch cell, and then upward toward a full-scale vehicle battery in the next three to five years.

“If you want to electrify vehicles, a solid-state battery is the way to go,” said Li.

“We set out to commercialise this technology because we do see our technology as unique compared to other solid-state batteries,” he added.

The technology developed at Harvard, which includes core innovations in solid-state battery design and electrolyte production methods, may offer other crucial advantages.

“Typically, lithium-metal anodes in other solid-state designs develop dendrites, twig-like growths that can gradually penetrate through the electrolyte to the cathode. We defeat the growth of dendrites before they can cause damage, by novel structural and material designs,” said Luhan Ye, CTO of Adden Energy.

As a result, the device can sustain its high performance over a long lifetime, he added.

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