Most litium ion cells struggle to operate below freezing which can be a problem for electric and hybrid vehicles, requiring additional heaters to boost the temperature of the battery packs. EC Power's patented All-Climate-Battery (ACB) technology operates in sub-zero temperatures by creating a self-heating function that warms up batteries from a low ambient temperature to the optimal operating condition in a matter of seconds, either prior to or during driving. This rapid self-heating function, which uses a custom material in the cell and so requires no external power source, also enables low-temperature fast charging in electric vehicles.
The self-heating mechanism creates an electrochemical interface provides internal warm-up to 0ºC within 20 seconds at -20ºC and within 30 seconds at -30ºC, consuming only 3.8 per cent and 5.5 per cent of cell capacity, respectively. The ACB cell yields a discharge/regeneration power of 1.06 and 1.4kW/kg at a 50 per cent state of charge and at -30ºC provides up to 12 times the power of state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells.
The company has used computer-aided discovery for the development of innovative battery and energy storage systems through its AutoLion softeware and has a battery factory in central Pennsylvania. The factory currently produces thousands of prismatic and pouch cell in 10 to 20 Ah capacity to demonstrate viability for mass production and in-vehicle testing.