This significant breakthrough was originally conceived by TIAX and continued by CAMX when it became a separate company in 2014. The announcement was delayed until the key patents were obtained internationally. CAMX now has patents granted in the US, EU, China and Japan.
The invention creates a broad class of cathode materials, overarching the high nickel material classes NMC, NCA and LNO, the chemistries currently used, and expected to be used for at least the next ten years, in lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV).
The patented invention has been named GEMX™ and the resulting enhanced chemistries, gNMC™, gNCA™, and gLNO™.
President and founder Dr. Kenan Sahin stated, “About 50% of oil is used in transportation, contributing a huge amount of the environmentally hazardous greenhouse gas CO2 emissions. Electrification of vehicles is therefore critical to mitigating climate change and the far greater and more immediate risk, climate/weather volatility, which the world is already experiencing.” Dr. Sahin added, “Lithium ion batteries are now the globally accepted technology to achieve electric vehicle production. More than 30% of the cost of a lithium ion cell is in the cathode material which is also the most difficult to manufacture in large quantities and hence the key to making batteries for vehicles affordable.”
High nickel cathode chemistries for vehicle batteries use cobalt to achieve required performance levels. While there is plenty of nickel and lithium to supply tens of millions of vehicles a year, cobalt is in shorter supply and is found in very few countries with many mired in controversy.
GEMX, through molecular engineering, places cobalt at critical places of the cathode particles resulting in less cobalt use, yet with greater stability, higher performance and lower cost for all classes of high nickel materials.
Dr. Sahin continued, “Contributing to the mitigation of climate change/volatility has been a cause for me since 2002. I have committed my time, energy, ideas and resources now approaching $100 million to the two companies I founded, TIAX in 2002 and CAMX in 2014. It is possible to achieve that at least 50% of global vehicle production be electric by 2045, with significant reductions in CO2 emissions, by which time both alternative energy and smart grids will be pervasive. California has already achieved 30% of its electricity being produced from alternative energy, targeting 100% by 2045. I am very proud that CAMX and TIAX have developed and patented this very important novel technology which can further accelerate the manufacture and spread of EVs.”
The importance of GEMX was recognized at the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) held in Tokyo in October 2018 with about 1,000 invitees from 70 countries, including several top executives in the automotive sector. Originally launched by Prime Minister Abe in 2014 to promote discussions and innovations for climate change mitigation, ICEF is managed by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) one of the largest public research and development management organizations in Japan.
The technical committee of ICEF reviewed hundreds of innovations across the globe, identifying innovations in two categories: those that will have impact by 2050, and those in a matter of years, labeling the latter as business transformation innovations. In each category, 14 were chosen.
GEMX was one of the fourteen selected in the business transformation category.
Dr. Sahin indicated that TIAX and CAMX together had developed the CAM-7® cathode platform which was licensed (nonexclusive) to Johnson Matthey (JM) and BASF. Last year JM announced that it had committed well over $200 million to bring CAM-7 to markets, rebranding their version as eLNO.
CAMX is already engaged in discussions concerning the licensing of GEMX with major manufacturers of cathode materials.