The strategic vision of the Metal-Air Ionic Liquid (MAIL) battery program is to create a measurably safe, earth-abundant and geo-politically sustainable, ultra-high energy density, and low cost battery technology. MAIL batteries will have unparalleled safety because the oxidant and reductant are not stored in the same space, hence, in the event of a crash involving an electric vehicle, the risk of catastrophic energy release and fire is non-existent. The MAIL Battery will have a minimum energy density of 4-11 times that of Li-ion, and a long-term cycle life goal of 2600 cycles.
The transformational nature of the MAIL program extends beyond safety and energy density. By developing battery chemistry with focus on sustainability and domestic interests, we have the potential to make energy storage both cost effective and break the cycle of geopolitical liability with respect to fossil fuels and (on the horizon) non-domestic and narrowly located Li-reserves. The program is composed of a tightly knit university-industry collaboration: generating jobs now, producing Ph.D.s in renewable energy for the future, and enhancing the rate of return of the ARPA-E investment.
Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy
October 2009 - December 2011