UK-based Oxis Energy, the lithium sulfur battery designer and developer, said on May 12 it had signed a 15-year lease with Mercedes Benz Brazil to transform the automaker’s site in Juiz de Fora, Brazil into what it says is the world’s first lithium sulfur battery manufacturing plant.
Oxis claims its Li-S technology will revolutionize the rechargeable battery market, with a theoretical energy density five times greater than lithium.
Oxis is partnering the Minas Gerais Development Company in the venture, and the two have already worked together with several Brazilian companies using the Li-S cells in regional aircraft, buses and trucks.
In the first phase of development the aim is to enable the production of five million Li-S cells a year, with the option to extend and double capacity.
The design and engineering of the plant and machinery layout will be done by Nordika Pharmaceutical of Brazil, and upgrading will begin immediately, Oxis said.
“Within five years, this factory will be a centre of excellence, producing world-class lithium sulfur cells and battery systems,” said Oxis Energy CEO Huw Hampson-Jones.
“Exporting worldwide to a range of markets: aviation, defence, HEVs, light commercial vehicles and large marine vessels, our aim is to aid the Brazilian government in eliminating all ICE buses over a period of 25 years, equating to the production of more than four billion cells.
“Brazil has the third largest bus market in the world, with 700,000 ICE buses in circulation.”
Separately, on May 11 Oxis announced it had appointed Scott Davis to manage cell production at its new manufacturing plant in Wales, where the company will make enough cathode and electrolyte to support the production of 500,000 cells, with room for expansion.
Davis joins the company from Belgian gelatin producer PB Leiner, where he was production manager.