Lithos approach to scaling battery systems for the non-commercial automotive sector


Battery module and pack manufacturer Lithos has been creating lithium-ion battery systems for the non-commercial sector since 2015. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Calif., Lithos’ custom-engineered applications are configurable for eight industries: automotive, marine, off-highway, energy storage, defense, construction, mining, and agriculture.

“We saw much attention paid to certain applications, like electric vehicles, for example,” says James Meredith, president and founder of Lithos. “This isn’t true for other vehicles and products that still need to be electrified; the business was started to try to address that gap.”

The company is working to develop lithium-titanate-oxide chemistry systems to add to its high-power product offerings in 2024. These packs and modules are expected to charge in less than 10 minutes and offer 10 times the lifecycle of batteries made from lithium-ion-phosphate chemistries.

Lithos uses nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum chemistry for its Gen5 modular battery systems. The high-voltage modules and packs continuously discharge 50.05 kW and have a capacity of 210 kW. Alternatively, the low voltage systems have an output of 3.5 kW and 1.2 kW capacity.

While it’s possible to use Lithos battery systems for residential storage, Meredith states that isn’t the company’s current focus.

Lithos bases its battery chemistry selection on high energy and competitive power density. Moreover, affordability, safety, calendar life, and cycle life also play a role.

“There’s a litany of requirements that drive the choice of chemistry,” Meredith says. “The big ones are, we need something with a lot of energy and something that will last for our customers.” With more stakeholders developing battery systems made from sodium-ion chemistries, Meredith states that the company will continue to leverage different cell chemistries as the technology becomes more commercially available.

Currently, Lithos imports battery cells from South Korea, Japan, the U.S., Canada, and China, while its non-cell components come from Mexico, Canada, the U.S. West Coast, and Southern states. According to Meredith, the company is currently in discussion with domestic cell engineering partners. Lithos aims to begin sourcing cells produced in the U.S. in 2026. The company also wants to leverage tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act. However, details on their decision have yet to be released.

Lithos tests its systems based on certification standards that vary by application. “Outside bodies and third parties do the certification,” Meredith said. Some of the certification standards Lithos applications adhere to include Underwriter Laboratories standards, which ensure products meet industry requirements for safety by checking that devices can handle the current they claim to. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) certification standards regulate sustainability regarding energy efficiency and environmental performance. DNV-certified products must also undergo quality management and risk assessment tests to ensure the offering meets industry safety standards. 

Meredith states that Lithos also conducts in-house testing to prevent common hazards like thermal runaway.

“We want to generate deep insights into the failure mechanisms of our products,” he says. This approach helps reduce product-to-market time as the organization addresses potential risks before demoing solutions in front of a standardized body.

Moreover, generating configurable modules means much of the design validation and testing is conducted on the base architecture of a system, which can then be used in various applications.

“We carry that forward and have confidence that any battery we build using the same architecture will also pass those tests, barring certification standards for specific systems that are met,” said Meredith.

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