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GM Ventures makes $7M strategic investment in Envia Systems for advanced Li-ion cathode materials

General Motors Ventures LLC invested $7 million in Newark, Calif.-based Envia Systems to provide GM’s battery engineering team with access to advanced lithium-ion cathode technology that delivers higher cell energy density and lower cost. In a separate agreement, GM has secured the right to use Envia’s advanced cathode material for future GM electrically driven vehicles.

Other participating investors in Envia are Asahi Kasei and Asahi Glass; as well as current investors Bay Partners, Redpoint and Panagea Ventures. The funding of the investor group totaled $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. In fact, our announcement today demonstrates that major improvements are already on the horizon.
—Jon Lauckner, president of GM Ventures

Our test results on small-format cells show that Envia’s high-capacity composite cathode material can increase the energy density of lithium-ion cells by up to one-third, at an equivalent level of reliability, safety and durability. We estimate this improvement in cell energy density and less expensive material will drive a substantial reduction in cell cost, leading to lower cost battery packs like the one in the Chevy Volt. Envia’s cathode technology also will offer benefits for other devices and applications where low-cost, high-energy density storage solutions are needed.
—Micky Bly, GM executive director for Electrical and Battery Systems

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