Anzode gets $1.7-million CEC grant for non-lithium batteries

Battery startup Anzode has received a $1.7-million award for a three-year effort to develop a new generation of non-lithium batteries, as part of the California Energy Commission (CEC) Grant Funding Opportunity “Developing non-Lithium Ion Energy Storage Technologies to Support California’s Clean Energy Goals.” The CEC has awarded almost $11 million for developers of energy storage technologies other than lithium-ion batteries to meet California’s 100% clean energy statutory requirement and the need for a diverse set of longer-duration storage technologies.

“Anzode’s scientists are working hard to address energy challenges in California and beyond,” said Anzode CEO Sebastien Belanger. “Anzode is building a generation of inexpensive green batteries that are safer for the environment. Our rechargeable zinc-manganese batteries provide great performance and safety and are much cheaper than lithium, making them a viable solution for backup power and energy storage. Future generations of our technology could even find their way into automobiles. This grant will enable Anzode to accelerate its design, prototyping and manufacturing tests.”

Anzode’s batteries use inexpensive materials, which the company says translates into a 70% cost advantage when compared to lithium-ion and gas generators for a given amount of energy. Zinc has long been considered an ideal battery electrode due to its high power and energy density, low cost, global availability, environmental characteristics and ease of recycling. Similarly, manganese is an abundant, safe, inexpensive and widely used element. Anzode’s technology stabilizes both metals and turns them into a rechargeable battery.

Li-Cycle to build battery recycling hub in upstate New York

Battery recycling specialist Li-Cycle will invest over $175 million dollars in a lithium-ion battery recycling “Hub” at Eastman Business Park in upstate New York. The new facility will work in conjunction with  Li-Cycle’s “Spoke” facility, which is already located at the Rochester site. Li-Cycle plans to begin construction on the Hub facility in 2021.

Li-Cycle’s Spoke and Hub operations will complement each other. There will be several US-based Spokes that aggregate and refine spent Li-ion batteries, separating the materials. Li-Cycle’s Rochester Spoke, due to open this fall, will be capable of shredding up to 5,000 tons of used batteries per year. Ultimately, the Hub operation in Rochester will receive battery materials from the Rochester Spoke and similar operations across the US, and process them further for use as raw materials in future manufacturing, including for new batteries.

SEE ALSO: Q&A with Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar

Li-Cycle claims that its process recovers 80 to 100% of all materials found in Li-ion batteries with no wastewater discharge. Recovered materials are either processed to the point of being reusable in battery production or other applications, or sent for further processing to other recyclers (e.g. steel and plastics). The company processes all types of Li-ion batteries used in electronic devices, EVs and energy storage.

Li-Cycle co-founder Tim Johnston said, “We are excited to be able to announce Rochester as the location of Li-Cycle’s first commercial Hub refinery. This facility will enable sustainable closed-loop production of critical materials for the battery industry, such as cobalt, nickel and lithium, right here in North America, supporting the development of EVs and other sustainable energy applications. We deeply appreciate the continued support of the local community, government agencies and Kodak in the development of this project.”

“This international partnership with Li-Cycle will foster the supply chain of lithium-ion batteries, which are in high demand, and will further expand the thriving energy storage industry in the region,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Proterra’s ZX5 next-generation electric transit bus

Proterra has sold electric buses to over 120 customers in North America—more than any other manufacturer, the company claims. Now Proterra has introduced its fifth-generation battery-electric transit vehicle, the Proterra ZX5 electric bus.

The ZX5 is available in 35-foot and 40-foot versions, and with battery capacity of 220, 440 or 660 kWh. The 660 kWh option (40-foot version only) delivers up to 329 miles of range.

Compared to Proterra’s previous generation, the new ZX5 features a more streamlined body design, a lower vehicle height, new shocks and enhanced ergonomics designed to provide riders and drivers with a smoother riding experience. There’s also an additional front charging port for greater flexibility.

The ZX5 also offers faster acceleration and greater horsepower than earlier Proterra models. It can be configured with Proterra’s standard ProDrive drivetrain or its dual-motor DuoPower drivetrain. Proterra says its DuoPower drivetrain delivers nearly twice the horsepower and five times better fuel efficiency than a standard diesel engine. The DuoPower drivetrain’s two electric motors deliver 550 hp, accelerating a ZX5 bus from 0-20 mph in under six seconds. The DuoPower drivetrain can also propel a bus up a 25% grade, making it a good option for routes with steep hills.

Proterra’s battery systems are designed and manufactured at Proterra’s California battery manufacturing facility, and have logged over 13 million miles in mass transit service.

“A decade ago, Proterra delivered its first battery-electric transit bus. We were at the start of the transportation electrification revolution in North America,” said Proterra CEO Jack Allen. “As more cities and states make the commitment to 100% zero-emission fleets, Proterra is introducing new vehicle and battery technology to meet the needs of our customers. Our fifth-generation electric transit vehicle, the Proterra ZX5, is designed to tackle the toughest routes and terrains across North America.”