California startup aims to tackle battery degradation in electric cars

Lithium-ion batteries are essential to electric vehicles, but they have drawbacks: They are hard to make and degrade over time.

A San Leandro, California-based start-up on Thursday said it had raised $4 million in funding and is working with German chemical giant BASF SE on a new technology to tackle those problems, aiming one day to reduce the cost of lithium ion batteries while boosting their capacities and extending their lifetimes.

Coreshell Technologies makes a coating that would go directly onto the surface of the electrodes in lithium-ion batteries.

To produce power, lithium ions move back and forth between electrodes inside the battery. But as they pass through layers, some of the lithium gets stuck, both depleting it and making it harder for remaining ions to move back and forth.