The Dutch car manufacturer Stellantis wants to install a lithium-sulfur battery in its own electric cars for the first time. The technology promises advantages over classic batteries.

The mobility transition presents many challenges. The lithium-ion batteries currently used are often difficult to recycle and are comparatively heavy and expensive. As a result, many universities and automobile manufacturers are now investigating the use of alternative materials for electric car batteries. One example is car manufacturer Stellantis, which wants to test the first production-ready lithium-sulfur batteries (Li-S).

This was developed by Lyten, a company from San José, California. These batteries could represent a not insignificant further development of electric vehicles in the automotive sector. Lyten has already shipped A samples of its 6.5 amp-hour Li-S battery cells to leading US and European automakers. But why does the technology have potential?

New graphene structure increases stability and conductivity

Lyten's technology addresses the biggest challenges of previously available lithium-sulfur batteries. These include a limited cycle life and comparatively low stability. A key aspect is the incorporation of a proprietary 3D graphene structure into the cathode, which improves overall stability and conductivity. Because this also minimizes the so-called polysulfide shuttle effect.

This effect usually results in rapid capacity loss and has so far limited the wider application of Li-S batteries. Another significant advantage of this new battery technology is the absence of critical minerals. Because nickel, cobalt and manganese are not used.

This could reduce the carbon footprint by up to 65 percent compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries. This also enables a possible complete realization of the supply chain within the USA or the EU.

Stellantis and other car manufacturers see potential for lithium-sulfur batteries in cars

Lyten has already made significant investments in the development of lithium-sulfur technology. The company plans to ship more advanced A samples later in the year. A large production plant is also being planned. Chrysler already announced it would use the batteries in its own concept electric vehicle.

The U.S. Department of Energy has also awarded Lyten $4 million in funding to further develop this technology. This development could therefore play a key role in the future of electromobility. Further iterations could overtake the classic lithium-ion battery in terms of performance and environmental friendliness.

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