It's been quite a while since we've heard anything from Sakti3, the Ann Arbor-based battery company that has been working on next-generation solid state lithium batteries for many years. Heck, even the company's website doesn't have any news that isn't a year old. Thankfully, our friend Jim Motavalli, who blogs for Car Talk, recently talked to Sakti3's Ann Marie Sastry on the eve of her company being named an affiliate of the US Department of Energy's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR).
In 2010, Sakti3 got $4.2 million from GM Ventures and Itochu and has garnered $30 million overall for the next-gen batteries, with the big difference being that these are printed on a thin film. Sastry told Motavalli that she expects the Sakti3 cells to be "half the cost of conventional li-ion, but with double the energy density and half the weight." Oh, and she says they'll be here in two years, well before the timeline that companies like Toyota are predicting for solid state batteries.
The short timeline is one reason why Sakti3 was so appealing to the JCESR, which is working on battery breakthroughs that are a decade or so away. Something in the near term would improve the next generation of plug-in vehicles before the really big changes come in the 2020s. There are caveats, though, about power delivery and reliability and you can read the details over on Car Talk and then see a promotional Sakti3 video below.