Nikola reveals battery with record energy density of 1,100 watt-hours per kg


PHOENIX — Nikola Corp. Tuesday released details of its new battery that has a record energy density of 1,100 watt-hours per kg on the material level and 500 watt-hours per kg on the production cell level.

The Nikola prototype cell is the first battery that removes binder material and current collectors, enabling more energy storage within the cell, according to Nikola Motor Co. CEO Trevor Milton. It is also expected to pass nail penetration standards, thus reducing potential vehicle fires, he said.

“This battery technology could increase the range of current EV passenger cars from 300 miles up to 600 miles with little or no increase to battery size and weight,” he said. “The technology is also designed to operate in existing vehicle conditions. Moreover, cycling the cells over 2,000 times has shown acceptable end-of-life performance.”

Milton said Nikola’s new cell technology is environmentally friendly and easy to recycle. While conventional lithium-ion cells contain elements that are toxic and expensive, the new technology will have a positive impact on the earth’s resources, landfills and recycling plants.

This month, Nikola entered into a letter of intent to acquire a world-class battery engineering team to help bring the new battery to pre-production. Through this acquisition, Nikola will add 15 PhDs and five master’s degree team members. Because of confidentiality and security reasons, additional details of the acquisition will not be disclosed until Nikola World 2020, the dates of which have not been chosen.

“This is the biggest advancement we have seen in the battery world,” Milton said. “We are not talking about small improvements; we are talking about doubling your cell phone battery capacity. We are talking about doubling the range of BEVs and hydrogen-electric vehicles around the world.

“Nikola is in discussions with customers for truck orders that could fill production slots for more than 10 years and propel Nikola to become the top truck manufacturer in the world in terms of revenue. Now the question is why not share it with the world?” Milton said.

Nikola will show the batteries charging and discharging in front of the crowd at Nikola World expected to be held in the fall of 2020.

Milton listed some key points surrounding the announcement:

  • Nikola’s battery electric trucks could now drive 800 miles fully loaded between charges.
  • Nikola trucks could weigh 5,000 pounds less than the competition if same battery size was kept.
  • Nikola’s hydrogen-electric fuel cell trucks could surpass 1,000 miles between stops and top off in 15 minutes.
  • There will be an energy density up to 1,100 watt-hours per kg on a material level and 500 watt-hours per kg on a production cell level including casing, terminals and separator, more than double current lithium-ion battery cells
  • It can be cycled over 2,000 times with acceptable end-of-life performance.
  • There is a 40% reduction in weight compared to lithium-ion cells.
  • There is a 50% material cost reduction per kWh compared to lithium-ion batteries.

Because of the impact this technology will have on society and emissions, Nikola has taken an unprecedented position to share the IP with all other OEM’s, even competitors, that contribute to the Nikola IP license and new consortium.

OEMs or other partners can email for more information.

Nikola Corp. designs and manufactures hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen stations. The company is privately held and headquartered in Arizona.

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