Detroit, Michigan – General Motors Ventures has invested US$7 million in Envia Systems, a California-based battery technology company, which will provide the automaker access to advanced lithium-ion cathode technology. GM has also secured the right to use Envia’s advanced cathode material for future electric vehicles.
Other participating investors in Envia are Asahi Kasei, Asahi Glass, Bay Partners, Redpoint and Panagea Ventures. The funding of the investor group totals $17 million.
“Skeptics have suggested it would probably be many years before lithium-ion batteries with significantly lower cost and higher capability are available, potentially limiting sales of electric vehicles for the foreseeable future,” said Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures. “In fact, our announcement today demonstrates that major improvements are already on the horizon.”
Envia’s technology uses inexpensive materials that store more energy per unit of mass than current cathode materials. Since the cathode is a key driver for the overall battery cost, the more energy the cathode delivers, the lower the battery cost because fewer cells are needed.