As EV-haters constantly remind us, the liquid electrolytes used in current EV batteries can catch fire or even explode in emergency situations such as a charging fault or a crash, or in the case of a defective cell. Solid-state cells are expected to be much safer, but they’re just beginning to appear in limited numbers of production vehicles.
South 8 Technologies has developed what appears to be an alternative. The company’s Arctic LiGas 18650 cell, introduced at the recent Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in San Diego, replaces the toxic and flammable liquid electrolyte with a patented “liquefied gas electrolyte.”
South 8 says LiGas reduces fire risks, and also offers a wider range of operating temperatures: from -60 to +60° C. The San Diego-based company is currently shipping Arctic LiGas cells to select customers for deployments in various applications including defense, EVs, stationary storage and battery-powered industrial equipment. Arctic is the first in a family of lithium-ion battery cell formats and chemistries that South 8 plans to introduce.
“LiGas addresses serious lithium-ion pain points: fire risk and depleted energy at low temperatures,” said South 8 CEO Tom Stepien. “Arctic LiGas cells solve these ‘fire and ice’ problems by minimizing thermal propagation with a non-toxic blend of gases that dissipate harmlessly when punctured or overheated. Arctic cells have the industry’s lowest operating temperature, providing energy down to minus 60° C (-76° F). We are excited to help our customers safely and efficiently operate in new environments and applications.”
Source: South 8 Technologies