Tokyo-based APB Corp. has raised capital to outfit a factory for the production of all-polymer lithium-ion batteries. APB claims its design cuts production costs by 90 percent while simultaneously improving safety compared to regular lithium-ion batteries. Initially targeting stationary storage applications, the company expects to realize 1 gigawatt-hour capacity by 2023.
In an all-polymer battery, the liquid electrolyte and electrodes are replaced with polymer compounds. Using a bipolar structure where current flows perpendicular to the electrode planes, battery cells are sheet shaped and can easily be stacked. These characteristics greatly simplify and speed up the production process, thus reducing costs.
“The problem with making lithium batteries now is that it’s device manufacturing, like semiconductors. Our goal is to make it more like steel production,” APB founder Hideaki Horie said in an interview. He added that his approach makes manufacturing as easy as “buttering toast.”