General Motors reveals Envia Systems investment

US car giant General Motors’ (GM) Ventures arm has invested $7m (£4.4m) in Newark, California-based Envia Systems to provide GM’s battery engineering team with access to its lithium-ion cathode technology.

In a separate agreement, GM secured the right to use Envia’s advanced cathode material for future GM electrically driven vehicles.

Other participating investors in Envia are Asahi Kasei and Asahi Glass, as well as current investors Bay Partners, Redpoint and Panagea Ventures.

’Our test results on small-format cells show that Envia’s composite cathode material can increase the energy density of lithium-ion cells by up to one-third, at an equivalent level of reliability, safety and durability,’ said Micky Bly, executive director for electrical and battery systems at GM.

’We estimate this improvement in cell energy density and less expensive material will drive a substantial reduction in cell cost, leading to lower-cost battery packs such as the one in the Chevy Volt.’