Lithium–Manganese Batteries

Manganese dioxide lithium cells are also available in standard cylindrical and coin sizes. They are in many ways equivalent to poly (carbon monofluoride) cells in terms of construction, energy density, safety and OCV, but typically have only about half the service life. However, manganese dioxide-lithium cells are well-suited to applications having relatively high continuous- or pulse-current requirements, since the cell internal impedance is somewhat lower than for other types

Is the era of the two minute electric vehicle (EV) battery almost at hand?  If it is, EV acceptance will surge practically everywhere, but especially in the EV sceptical  United States of America. Can the lithium-manganese battery save the EV? Below, yesterday’s announcement from American Manganese.

American Manganese hopes to benefit from battery market
By: Matthew Hill 7th April 2011
TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – American Manganese, developing the Artillery Peak mine in Arizona, said on Thursday it tasked a Canadian research company to evaluate the production of lithium-manganese oxide (LMD), used in batteries that can be recharged in two minutes.

British Columbia-based Kemetco Research would do “proof of concept” testing for LMD using ore from Artillery Peak.

Batteries using LMD are low-cost, safer, and have a higher output than other lithium ion products, TSX V-listed American Manganese said in a statement.

American Manganese said that the University of Illinois has made an advanced prototype battery, using LMD that can be recharged in as little as two minutes, the time equivalent of filling a car’s tank.

Read here.

Of course Li-MnO3 batteries already exist, often in “watch size” form or powering e-bikes. Can the Li-Mn battery be scaled up for use in cars and light commercial vehicles? I have my doubts since the major auto manufacturers haven’t gone down this route, but the electric bike manufacturers have, as per the UK site below selling German made e-bikes shows.

There’s big news from Kalkhoff. Next season’s electric bikes will have new technology that offers the best power-to-weight ratio of any electric bike battery.

More options The new 18Ah battery pack brings a significant range improvement and doubles the battery lifetime. Two smaller packs, 8Ah and 12Ah, will also be available. Only the 8Ah and 18Ah packs will be available to buy as separate items.

The new battery packs are fully compatible with every Kalkhoff electric bike we’ve sold since 2007. You can even use your existing charger to power them up.

Out on the road In practice, this means a range of up to 140 kilometres / 87 miles for the 18Ah battery in Normal 1:1 assistance mode (see assumptions) or 60 kilometres / 35 miles for a Sports class bike.

Current batteries have a lifetime of up to 500 charge cycles. The new battery packs will more than double this to 1100 charge cycles before 60% depletion. At this point, the battery will still have more than 10Ah remaining – the same as the best of the current battery packs.

Anything that makes EV acceptance faster, other things remaining the same, increases  REE demand and with it our need to bring on-stream non Chinese supply ASAP.