ZENN Motor Company Makes Equity Investment in EEStor
30 April 2007
Feel Good Cars Corporation, operating as ZENN Motor Company, has made a
US$2.5 million equity investment in Austin-based energy storage developer,
EEStor. The negotiated investment terms also grant ZENN an additional
investment option of up to US $5 million on the same terms, following EEStor's
successful completion of its next major milestone: permittivity testing.
EEStor is developing a new high-power-density ceramic ultracapacitor (the
Energy Storage Unit-EESU). EEstor has publicly claimed a permittivity
figure-a measurement of the ability of a material to store an electric
charge-of 18,500 or more. The required permittivity levels are specified in
detail in the existing Technology Agreement between ZENN Motor Company and
We are very pleased to strengthen and deepen our strategic relationship with
EEStor through this investment. Becoming a shareholder in EEStor at this
pivotal point in their development represents an exciting opportunity for
ZENN shareholders to benefit from participation in the broader market
applications that EEStor will potentially develop for its technology, in
addition to our exclusive automotive applications.
-Ian Clifford, CEO of ZENN Motor Company
Following this initial investment of US$2.5 million, ZENN Motor Company will
own approximately 3.8% of the equity of EEStor.
Under its Technology Agreement with EEStor, ZENN holds certain worldwide
exclusive licenses for EEStor's storage units for new small and medium-sized
low-speed and highway-capable vehicles (up to 1,400 kg curb weight). ZENN
also holds worldwide exclusive rights for EEStor units for the conversion of
any used internal combustion passenger vehicle to electric drive.
ZENN Motor Company currently produces and sells the ZENN, a fully-electric
low speed vehicle (LSV). The potential commercialization of EEStor's EESU in
future ZENN vehicles will allow them to go as far and as fast as a
traditional car at a fraction of the cost, according to the company.
Nano-materials seem to be one of the keys to improving the capability of batteries to absorb, store and discharge energy. AltairNano and A123 systems are both using the tiny particles in the construction of electrodes for their batteries.
Another newcomer is now following the same path. Nanoexa has a subsidiary in South Korea called Decktron that is making lithium ion batteries. The company is claiming that Nanoexa's new nanocrystalline material that is being used to construct the positive battery electrodes allows them to achieve an energy density of 3kW/kg. If Decktron can achieve this level of energy density and match some of the longevity claims of AltairNano it could be a real breakthrough.
[Source: RF Design]
Corporate Headquarters: 863 Mitten Rd. Suite 102 Burlingame, CA 94010 Tel: 650-204-6000 Fax: 650-204-6007 E-mail: info@ nanoexa.com
I know this is not a "new" story, but I wondered if
you knew more about it.
A story of lithium polymer thin film battery gone bad.
--- Remy Chevalier <remyc@...> wrote:
> New nanotechnology enables increased battery energy
> Posted Apr 29th 2007 by Sam Abuelsamid
> Nano-materials seem to be one of the keys to
> improving the capability of batteries to absorb,
> store and discharge energy. AltairNano and A123
> systems are both using the tiny particles in the
> construction of electrodes for their batteries.
> Another newcomer is now following the same path.
> Nanoexa has a subsidiary in South Korea called
> Decktron that is making lithium ion batteries. The
> company is claiming that Nanoexa's new
> nanocrystalline material that is being used to
> construct the positive battery electrodes allows
> them to achieve an energy density of 3kW/kg. If
> Decktron can achieve this level of energy density
> and match some of the longevity claims of AltairNano
> it could be a real breakthrough.
> [Source: RF Design]
> Corporate Headquarters:
> 863 Mitten Rd.
> Suite 102
> Burlingame, CA 94010
> Tel: 650-204-6000
> Fax: 650-204-6007
> E-mail: info@ nanoexa.com
> Reader Comments
> 1. There is no word about _energy_-density (kWh/kg),
> only about power-density (kW/kg) !
> Rising the amount of kWh/kg to increase the range is
> even more important as power, which is high enough
> in todays' batteries.
> Posted at 3:21PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Tachy
> 2. Doesn't make sense. . . 3 kW/kg isn't a measure
> of energy density, it's a measure of power density
> -- impressive, but something that's not a big
> problem for existing li-ion cells. Maybe they meant
> 3 kW-hr/kg? But if that were so, it would be an
> unbelievable figure, which I think is far beyond the
> theoretical limits for li-ion chemistry.
> Posted at 3:33PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Tony Belding
> 3. @tony:
> Standard LiIon-cells as in the Tesla Roadster have
> 0,12 kWh/kg, the altairnano/A123Systems-LiIon-Cells
> have 0,10 kWh/kg.
> Posted at 5:27PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Tachy
> 4. Here is some more information I found about
> Nanoexa's batteries.
> "Nanoexa projects that its batteries will provide
> 50% more power density (i.e., greater acceleration
> and torque)and 50% higher energy density (i.e.,
> longer time between charges) than existing Li-ion
> Posted at 6:30PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Matt
> 5. Good find Matt. A 50% increase in energy density
> would be pretty damn impressive. Sounds like an
> electric midsize sedan with a 350 mile range is now
> Posted at 7:07PM on Apr 29th 2007 by frank78
> 6. Yet another competing company in the battery tech
> field can't possibly hurt. However, the referenced
> materials in the article are a bit long on hype and
> short on usable information.
> There was one real concrete item: The proposed
> introduction of a consumer electronics format
> battery in less than two months. Assuming they
> actually deliver something close to the predicted
> time, we'll actually get a chance to see how well it
> does in the Real World. I'll be watching for it. If
> I can get one of their batteries for my laptop, I
> might even buy one myself.
> Posted at 2:12PM on Apr 30th 2007 by Howard Lee
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
I think I commented on the technology that they created several
years ago - the problem was that the battery was well suited for low
power usage but not powerful enough for Electric Vehicle use and I
was surprised that no one in the company had figured that out. Even
conventional 6 watt output Lithium cells from laptops when combined
in parallel with sufficient capacity to power a vehicle a useful
distance will result in plenty of power to make it perform very
well. You just need enough capacity (Amp Hours) and you will end up
with plenty of Amps. By connecting 100 cells in parallel to make a
200amphour (2ah per cell) you can draw 400 amps (4 amps continuous
per cell) from the battery. The use of the new A123 cells is not
really necessary and a lot more expensive than conventional cells
EXCEPT for their greater calendar life and rapid charging if enough
grid power is available to rapid charge.
--- In BMBB@yahoogroups.com, Peter Oppewall <evtransportal@...>
> Hey Remy,
> I know this is not a "new" story, but I wondered if
> you knew more about it.
> A story of lithium polymer thin film battery gone bad.
> --- Remy Chevalier <remyc@...> wrote:
> > From:
> > New nanotechnology enables increased battery energy
> > density
> > Posted Apr 29th 2007 by Sam Abuelsamid
> > Nano-materials seem to be one of the keys to
> > improving the capability of batteries to absorb,
> > store and discharge energy. AltairNano and A123
> > systems are both using the tiny particles in the
> > construction of electrodes for their batteries.
> > Another newcomer is now following the same path.
> > Nanoexa has a subsidiary in South Korea called
> > Decktron that is making lithium ion batteries. The
> > company is claiming that Nanoexa's new
> > nanocrystalline material that is being used to
> > construct the positive battery electrodes allows
> > them to achieve an energy density of 3kW/kg. If
> > Decktron can achieve this level of energy density
> > and match some of the longevity claims of AltairNano
> > it could be a real breakthrough.
> > [Source: RF Design]
> > Corporate Headquarters:
> > 863 Mitten Rd.
> > Suite 102
> > Burlingame, CA 94010
> > Tel: 650-204-6000
> > Fax: 650-204-6007
> > E-mail: info@ nanoexa.com
> > Reader Comments
> > 1. There is no word about _energy_-density (kWh/kg),
> > only about power-density (kW/kg) !
> > Rising the amount of kWh/kg to increase the range is
> > even more important as power, which is high enough
> > in todays' batteries.
> > Posted at 3:21PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Tachy
> > 2. Doesn't make sense. . . 3 kW/kg isn't a measure
> > of energy density, it's a measure of power density
> > -- impressive, but something that's not a big
> > problem for existing li-ion cells. Maybe they meant
> > 3 kW-hr/kg? But if that were so, it would be an
> > unbelievable figure, which I think is far beyond the
> > theoretical limits for li-ion chemistry.
> > Posted at 3:33PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Tony Belding
> > 3. @tony:
> > Standard LiIon-cells as in the Tesla Roadster have
> > 0,12 kWh/kg, the altairnano/A123Systems-LiIon-Cells
> > have 0,10 kWh/kg.
> > Posted at 5:27PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Tachy
> > 4. Here is some more information I found about
> > Nanoexa's batteries.
> > "Nanoexa projects that its batteries will provide
> > 50% more power density (i.e., greater acceleration
> > and torque)and 50% higher energy density (i.e.,
> > longer time between charges) than existing Li-ion
> > cells"
> > Posted at 6:30PM on Apr 29th 2007 by Matt
> > 5. Good find Matt. A 50% increase in energy density
> > would be pretty damn impressive. Sounds like an
> > electric midsize sedan with a 350 mile range is now
> > realistic.
> > Posted at 7:07PM on Apr 29th 2007 by frank78
> > 6. Yet another competing company in the battery tech
> > field can't possibly hurt. However, the referenced
> > materials in the article are a bit long on hype and
> > short on usable information.
> > There was one real concrete item: The proposed
> > introduction of a consumer electronics format
> > battery in less than two months. Assuming they
> > actually deliver something close to the predicted
> > time, we'll actually get a chance to see how well it
> > does in the Real World. I'll be watching for it. If
> > I can get one of their batteries for my laptop, I
> > might even buy one myself.
> > Posted at 2:12PM on Apr 30th 2007 by Howard Lee
> > Harkness
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
Lithium Dinitramide as an Additive in Lithium Power
Cells. The article says dinitramide compounds were
known as rocket fuel oxydizers, that lithium
dinitramide, as an inorganic additive, can improve
performance of primary or secondary batteries with
metallic lithium or lithium alloy anodes.
Finding fabulous fares is fun.
Let Yahoo! FareChase search your favorite travel sites to find flight and hotel
> Hey Remy,
> I know this is not a "new" story, but I wondered if
> you knew more about it.
> A story of lithium polymer thin film battery gone bad.
[[ What did not work then, in 2005, such as Voltaflex for example,
is reminescent to me of why the EV1 didn't work either... all too
fishy... Dr. Donald Sadoway's solid-state li-ion chemistry is sound,
has solved most, if not all these problems... now once Electrifying
Times gets its EV pin-up calendar back from the transparent, and
temporary, take-over attempt by Jon Mack and Marco Berrios... we
might actually stand a chance of seeing these new chemistries into
successful mass production. RemyC ]]
Hydro-Quebec's battery goes dead
The provincial utility and international partners put hundreds of
millions of dollars into a lithium power pack for vehicles and
telecommunications systems. Now, the car dream has short-circuited
and 85 are out of work
The Gazette, Saturday, September 03, 2005
It would be the breakthrough of the new century: a lightweight, long-
lasting, safe battery to power the cars of the future.
It would make the world's 700 million gas-guzzling, ozone-destroying
And it would propel its designer, Hydro-Quebec - already North
America's largest and most innovative utility - to new heights as a
world leader in electric car technology.
If only it worked.
Hydro-Quebec and a couple of international partners had put 20 years
and hundreds of millions of dollars into researching and developing
its lithium battery with two markets in mind: The battery could
serve as a backup power source to the world's telecommunications
systems and as a power pack for electric vehicles.
As the 1990s drew to a close, Hydro-Quebec felt the project was
ready to take a giant step forward, and it hired a Belgian
automobile specialist named Tadek Borys. Fears of global warming
were creating heightened interest in electric cars, and that market
was looking particularly promising.
So new money was invested. New partners were found. Tests were
conducted, reports were written, projections were made. And a state-
of-the-art plant was built in Boucherville.
Five years later, in late 2004, Hydro-Quebec got the kind of shock
it did not want from this battery: It didn't work in cars. And it
probably never would.
Now, 85 people have lost their jobs and the provincial police have
been called in to sort out allegations of wrongdoing.
Mystery surrounds the entire costly affair. Neither the police nor
Hydro-Quebec will comment on the substance of the allegations.
According to one source in Hydro-Quebec, however, it was more a
matter of incompetence than wrongdoing. Innovation is always a risky
But in this case, the company failed to impose the kind of checks
and balances that would assure no one could run wild in fantasyland
with Quebecers' money.
"They bought into a marketing story and never checked it out," the
source said. "That's not criminal. That's just stupid."
The story of the vehicle battery that went dead is partly a familiar
tale about starry-eyed top executives buying into a dream world.
But it's also about the tricky job of developing environmentally
friendly technology for the mass market. What works in the lab
doesn't necessarily work on the street. And the mere fact that a new
technology is good for the environment doesn't mean it will sell.
On this project, Hydro-Quebec discovered what its new executive now
in charge of this project, John Haddock, knows as a general
truth: "The average consumer will not pay for environmentally
Hydro-Quebec began developing its revolutionary power source in the
1980s with a Japanese company and the newly founded U.S. Automotive
Battery Consortium. They hoped for a breakthrough technology that
would far outperform clunky, often unreliable and oh-so-heavy lead-
Twenty years of research produced a prototype that appeared to fit
the bill - the Lithium-Metal-Polymer (LMP) battery, made of
lightweight lithium plates sealed together like a wafer. The LMP
battery was safer (no liquid or acid), one-third the size, one-fifth
the weight and had two to four times the life of an equivalent lead-
Field tests showed that it performed well as an auxiliary power
source for telecommunications installations. This means that when
the electrical grid failed, the LMP battery could be relied on in
any weather to keep the telephone alive. Just supplying these
batteries for the North American market is a potential $1.7-billion
business, it was claimed.
Hydro-Quebec had brought in Borys to work with the U.S. consortium
on a variation of the battery. Borys's experience was in the
automotive field, working in Belgium for Canadian auto-parts giant
In 1999, Hydro-Quebec's partners - which included the giant 3M
Corp. - pulled out, but Hydro-Quebec decided to go it alone. It
created a startup company called Avestor and made Borys the
Borys arranged to have the battery installed in Ford's
prototype "THINKcity" electric vehicle to see how it worked.
And according to a 2001 report written by five of Avestor's
technicians, the road tests proved that the "Avestor battery is a
fully functional battery technology for electric vehicles."
In other words, the battery worked well. The company said it powered
the car up to 88 kilometres per hour, with a range of 101 kilometres
before it needed recharging.
And this was an off-the-shelf version of the battery. A properly
modified battery with the latest technology would give even better
results, Avestor claimed.
There was one big problem: The battery alone was the price of an
Still, Avestor believed that this problem could be overcome.
There was a setback when Ford shut down the Think program in 2001 as
the "thinkers started thinking of other things," Ford spokesperson
Debbie Knight said. She said the car was too expensive and needed a
special plug and socket for recharging.
But prospects, so far as Avestor was concerned, continued to look
good. In fact, they looked so good that in 2001 U.S. energy and
chemical giant Kerr-McGee Corp. of Oklahoma bought a 50-per-cent
interest in Avestor and since then has invested an additional $285
million. During the same period, Hydro-Quebec invested another $120
Borys pushed ahead.
He signed a contract with a French electric car consortium called
SVE (Societe de vehicules electriques), whose main shareholders are
the French military aircraft company Dassault and autoparts maker
Groupe Henri Heuliez. In a project sponsored by the French
government, SVE's goal was to produce a fleet of electric vehicles
for the European market. The vehicles would be marketed under the
brand name Cleanova.
In 2002, Avestor opened the world's first LMP battery manufacturing
plant, locating it in Boucherville. Avestor had registered about 70
patents on the battery and was touting it as a "revolutionary"
technology that was "poised to change the marketplace" for
telecommunications and electric vehicles.
To prepare the foundations of this marketplace revolution, in
February 2004 Borys announced Avestor had Hydro-Quebec approval to
invest 240 million euros ($353 million) to build a second battery
plant - this one in Chatellerault, France, near Poitiers - creating
500 to 600 jobs.
"The project will represent the first step in Avestor's
international strategy," the company's confident statement
read. "Avestor's LMP battery represents a major worldwide
breakthrough in the field of batteries for stationary and motorized
Hydro-Quebec triumphantly declared that "yesterday's dream is
becoming today's reality." Hydro president Andre Caille said the
utility "showed just how creative and daring it is by offering
automobile manufacturers technology adapted to the needs of the
electric vehicle market, and I am very proud of this success."
The French-Quebec consortium predicted that by 2006 it would
manufacture 10,000 electric vehicles in France, rising to 40,000 by
2010. French partners Serge Dassault and Gerard Queveau said in a
joint statement that with Hydro-Quebec's technology, "We are very
confident we will succeed in implementing an electric vehicle in
The car would be powered by the Avestor battery and driven by
another product developed by Hydro-Quebec: the TM4 motor-generator
engine, which is an electrical generator with a backup combustion
Avestor claimed that with its lighter, safer and more efficient
battery and power generator, the new electric car would cost only
about $25,000, about the same as an average family sedan.
The momentum seemed unstoppable. So when the French consortium
suddenly pulled out of the deal in September 2004, claiming the
Avestor battery didn't work, it was a shocking jolt to Hydro-
Quebec's electric dreams.
The French consortium gave no further details on its decision. It
simply stated that it had chosen another battery, produced by the
French company Saft - a traditional lithium ion battery that was
already used in some electric vehicles.
According to a source, it was then that Hydro-Quebec began to wonder
if it had been misled about the promise of the LMP battery for
electric vehicle use. It called in the police.
With the collapse of a European market for this project, Avestor
quietly laid off 85 workers and Borys left the company. Hydro-Quebec
said his contract simply was not renewed. Otherwise, Hydro-Quebec
has clammed up. It's clear that the electric vehicle battery market
is no longer on the company's agenda.
How its dream turned to dust so quickly, however, is still clouded
in mystery. Why as of last year was Hydro-Quebec ready to build a
manufacturing plant in France and the next minute the project was
killed and the police were called in?
Marc-Brian Chamberlain, Hydro-Quebec's communications director, said
Avestor suddenly realized that its battery did not work in electric
"At the beginning of the electric vehicle project, Avestor was the
chosen battery and TM4 was the chosen engine. And Avestor is no
longer the chosen battery, but TM4 is still the chosen engine."
Chamberlain said the battery simply "is not adapted for electric
One justice department source said Avestor suddenly discovered that
the project made no financial sense.
In fact, the source said, several employees had warned Avestor about
the cost problems but nobody wanted to listen, given the prospect of
entering the sexy electric-vehicle market.
Chamberlain said he couldn't comment on what had abruptly changed
Avestor's view on the battery for electric vehicles or why a file
was given to the Surete du Quebec.
"We did an internal audit with Kerr-McGee and we decided to give the
file to the SQ. So since then, there is a new management. I can't
talk about it because now the SQ has the inquiry in hand."
John Christiansen, spokesperson for Kerr-McGee, said the company
advised Avestor to talk to the police.
"We are committed to legal compliance and high ethical standards,
and as a joint venture we encouraged Avestor to turn this matter
over to authorities and offer their full cooperation."
Christiansen refused to comment any further.
While the electric-vehicle dream is dead for Avestor, however, the
LMP battery is not. The company is betting that its original target
market, the telecommunications industry, will be its saviour.
Kerr-McGee continues to participate in that project, and those
batteries are being produced at the Boucherville plant.
"We're taking the technology to the market that demands it the most,
and the one that demands it the most is telecommunications," said
Haddock, who was brought in as Avestor president in June.
Price is still a problem. The LMP battery costs at least $2,000 a
unit. A traditional lead-acid battery costs only $400 to $500. But
because the LMP battery lasts about four times as long, is not
sensitive to extreme temperatures and is maintenance-free, Haddock
prays that the telecom industry will see the wisdom in paying the
high initial price of an LMP battery.
"During the life of that lead-acid battery, you would have to spend
that $400 to $500 two to four times. You would have to have a
maintenance organization to go out and maintain it. ... The
economics are turning more and more to the Lithium Metal Polymer
Or so he hopes.
Recent signs are good, Haddock said. He wouldn't give figures, but
he said this year the company expects to sell "in the low tens of
thousands" of batteries.
Avestor is a private company and won't reveal the cost structure of
its product. Still, it's clear it would have to sell many millions
of units before Hydro-Quebec and Kerr-McGee can recover their half-
billion-dollar capital investments.
That could take decades. And there's always the danger that the
revolutionary LMP battery could be eclipsed by better technology.
It's both the challenge and the risk of innovation.
My interests are Do-it-yourself (DIY), Building Projects, and
anything where I'll get my hands dirty but not burned. Lately, my
attention is being diverted by EVs. A lot of sites are offering DIY
conversion kits of turning ICEs into EVs. Very good solutions
indeed for DIYers, but not for people like me who is living in the
fareast third worlds, where Money Transfers and Freightings are
quite difficult. Therefore, I am forced to think a lot of
alternatives. 'Get inventive and get resourceful.
The soul of EVs is the Electric Motor. Sites have offered high
powered tiny packaged motors, and guess again... I don't have access
to these cute little toys. So I am thinking of using Self Starter
Motors of large Diesel Pick-ups for my EV project. We have all
sorts of vehicle in our country, and definitely these type of motor
is quite available from Automotive Parts stores. The problem is I
am not an expert on electric motors, so I am not sure about Self
Starter motors for use on EVs. By the way, I am trying to build an
electric sports bike, similar to Maxdon GPR1.
Is there somebody out there, who could confirm my idea of using Self
Starter motor for my Electric Bike project. What are the pros and
cons of this?
Many thanks in advance.
Generally the starter motor of any vehicle is intended for short
term use and are usually very inefficient for EV use were variable
power levels and rpm variations are needed. Cooling and bearings are
the first of many problems. The ideal motor that I have used for a
Bike size EV has been the MG13 from eCycle with their mating
controller. That motor controller package is no longer in production
and has/is being replaced with the newer CMG motors which offer much
higher power levels and much neater packaging at a somewhat higher
price. They also have in development limited production a very small
efficient 400-600 amp 36 volt controller with regen which is factory
configurable and eventually user configurable. Although the price of
these components are expensive they are not that high in price for
the efficiency that they provide and that efficiency will pay you
back in cooler, more reliable operation and greater range on your
Check out the photos section for examples of these products and
their web site http:\\www.eCycle.com
--- In BMBB@yahoogroups.com, "le_chevalier_azul" <jensano@...> wrote:
> Greetings Everybody,
> My interests are Do-it-yourself (DIY), Building Projects, and
> anything where I'll get my hands dirty but not burned. Lately, my
> attention is being diverted by EVs. A lot of sites are offering
> conversion kits of turning ICEs into EVs. Very good solutions
> indeed for DIYers, but not for people like me who is living in the
> fareast third worlds, where Money Transfers and Freightings are
> quite difficult. Therefore, I am forced to think a lot of
> alternatives. 'Get inventive and get resourceful.
> The soul of EVs is the Electric Motor. Sites have offered high
> powered tiny packaged motors, and guess again... I don't have
> to these cute little toys. So I am thinking of using Self Starter
> Motors of large Diesel Pick-ups for my EV project. We have all
> sorts of vehicle in our country, and definitely these type of
> is quite available from Automotive Parts stores. The problem is I
> am not an expert on electric motors, so I am not sure about Self
> Starter motors for use on EVs. By the way, I am trying to build
> electric sports bike, similar to Maxdon GPR1.
> Is there somebody out there, who could confirm my idea of using
> Starter motor for my Electric Bike project. What are the pros and
> cons of this?
> Many thanks in advance.
Many thanks for the info, Sir Jan
Actually, that's a total mystery to me. It's not really my idea to
use a Car Starter as the main motor for my Electric Bike, I saw a
three wheeler in our city using it. And that's actually the reason,
why I made this inquiry 'coz I had the same reaction at first: "A Car
Starter... duh??? Is that reliable". It intrigued me too much that,
I did some research already. But so far all I got are, modern car
self starter motors are DC series-wound or DC Permanent Magnet. I'd
prefer perm. mags, but perms are comall I've seen available so far
are series-wound. Problems with series wound are in the case of
failure in the drive chain, drive belt, or drive shaft, the series-
wound motor would go suicidal... series wound should always have a
load. you definitely can't run it while on center stand.
Well, like I said I'm not an expert on the subject. I'm still on the
gathering data part, that's why I'm still going around asking for
confirmations from those who got good and solid knowledge about this
type of motor.
--- In BMBB@yahoogroups.com, "Jan" <lookinnwpt@...> wrote:
> Generally the starter motor of any vehicle is intended for short
> term use and are usually very inefficient for EV use were variable
> power levels and rpm variations are needed. Cooling and bearings
> the first of many problems. The ideal motor that I have used for a
> Bike size EV has been the MG13 from eCycle with their mating
> controller. That motor controller package is no longer in
> and has/is being replaced with the newer CMG motors which offer
> higher power levels and much neater packaging at a somewhat higher
> price. They also have in development limited production a very
> efficient 400-600 amp 36 volt controller with regen which is
> configurable and eventually user configurable. Although the price
> these components are expensive they are not that high in price for
> the efficiency that they provide and that efficiency will pay you
> back in cooler, more reliable operation and greater range on your
> battery energy.
> Check out the photos section for examples of these products and
> their web site http:\\www.eCycle.com
> BMBB Moderator
> --- In BMBB@yahoogroups.com, "le_chevalier_azul" <jensano@> wrote:
> > Greetings Everybody,
> > My interests are Do-it-yourself (DIY), Building Projects, and
> > anything where I'll get my hands dirty but not burned. Lately,
> > attention is being diverted by EVs. A lot of sites are offering
> > conversion kits of turning ICEs into EVs. Very good solutions
> > indeed for DIYers, but not for people like me who is living in
> > fareast third worlds, where Money Transfers and Freightings are
> > quite difficult. Therefore, I am forced to think a lot of
> > alternatives. 'Get inventive and get resourceful.
> > The soul of EVs is the Electric Motor. Sites have offered high
> > powered tiny packaged motors, and guess again... I don't have
> > to these cute little toys. So I am thinking of using Self
> > Motors of large Diesel Pick-ups for my EV project. We have all
> > sorts of vehicle in our country, and definitely these type of
> > is quite available from Automotive Parts stores. The problem is
> > am not an expert on electric motors, so I am not sure about Self
> > Starter motors for use on EVs. By the way, I am trying to build
> > electric sports bike, similar to Maxdon GPR1.
> > Is there somebody out there, who could confirm my idea of using
> > Starter motor for my Electric Bike project. What are the pros
> > cons of this?
> > Many thanks in advance.
The other thing you want to avoid are brushes which these motors
have because they do eventually wear out and are a source of energy
loss and heat plus require air cooling which in a moving vehicle can
introduce contamination from the road.
--- In BMBB@yahoogroups.com, "le_chevalier_azul" <jensano@...> wrote:
> Many thanks for the info, Sir Jan
> Actually, that's a total mystery to me. It's not really my idea
> use a Car Starter as the main motor for my Electric Bike, I saw a
> three wheeler in our city using it. And that's actually the
> why I made this inquiry 'coz I had the same reaction at first: "A
> Starter... duh??? Is that reliable". It intrigued me too much
> I did some research already. But so far all I got are, modern car
> self starter motors are DC series-wound or DC Permanent Magnet.
> prefer perm. mags, but perms are comall I've seen available so far
> are series-wound. Problems with series wound are in the case of
> failure in the drive chain, drive belt, or drive shaft, the series-
> wound motor would go suicidal... series wound should always have a
> load. you definitely can't run it while on center stand.
> Well, like I said I'm not an expert on the subject. I'm still on
> gathering data part, that's why I'm still going around asking for
> confirmations from those who got good and solid knowledge about
> type of motor.
City, county look to woo Firefly
Governments may offer millions in aid for expansion to coax battery firm to
stay in area
Saturday, May 19, 2007
By Steve Tarter Of the Journal Star
PEORIA - The city of Peoria and Peoria County are teaming up to open a
The two local governments have partnered on a plan to provide support for
Firefly Energy Inc., allowing the high-tech battery firm to expand
operations in Peoria.
State Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria, equated the aid package with state
support provided for Keystone Consolidated Industries to keep the company's
steel plant operating in Bartonville. Leitch was among a group of civic
leaders to provide details of the plan before the Journal Star editorial
"We weren't about to let Keystone go down on our watch five years ago. So it
is we don't want Firefly to leave town," Leitch said.
Firefly, a startup company launched in 2003 using technology developed by
Caterpillar Inc., seeks to produce a lead-acid battery using graphite foam.
The lighter, more powerful battery has brought multimillion-dollar contracts
from the U.S. Army and Swedish power-product giant Husqvarna.
Under the proposal, National City Bank would provide Firefly with a
five-year loan for $6 million - $4 million for equipment and $2 million for
The loan would be first secured by the purchased equipment in the event of
default. The county also has pledged $1 million in a county reserve fund and
$2.3 million in sales tax revenues. The city would guarantee the loan with a
pledge of $3.3 million in utility tax revenues.
The city and county also would receive stock options in Firefly for their
investment. "If we're reasonably successful, those shares could be worth as
much as $5 million," said Firefly's co-founder and CEO, Ed Williams.
The Peoria City Council will vote on the issue Tuesday, said Peoria Mayor
Jim Ardis, who supports the plan. "We're putting action behind words when we
have the opportunity to keep the next level of technology here in town," he
The matter goes before the finance and tax committees of the Peoria County
Board on May 31 with a vote by the full board in June, said County Board
chairman Bill Prather, who called the proposal a good example of how
governments can work together.
If the deal is approved, Firefly would set up offices at 6533 N. Galena
Road, formerly the site of Foster & Gallagher Co., said Williams. Firefly
has been operating at offices in Illinois Central College's North Campus,
5407 N. University St.
"Even though we've raised $20 million in equity, we're not cash-flow
positive. We need a little bit of help," he said.
The loan provides the company with the opportunity to stay - and grow - in
Peoria, said Williams, anticipating that Firefly would grow from 30 to 65
employees over the next two to three years.
Other cities - and countries - have pursued Firefly with "very aggressive"
offers, he said. "They're laying some incredible situations at our feet,"
Also part of the rare public-private partnership is G&D Integrated, a Morton
firm that looks to build the core components for the advanced-technology
batteries that would then be assembled at battery plants in Missouri and
Joseph O'Neill, G&D president, said his firm will make an $8 million
investment because "his company could change the world of fuel cell
technology and (Williams) wasn't getting cooperation from anyone."
Noting that Firefly is no "one-hit wonder," Williams said that the firm also
holds 15 other patent applications relating to battery power that would be
developed over the next seven to eight years.
Calling Firefly "the poster child of Peoria NEXT," National City regional
president Doug Stewart said that technology was not in short supply in
Peoria. "Ideas are not our problem. The issue is management, first, and
capital, second. If we're going to hit our first home run, Firefly is the
closest thing we've got," he said.
Steve Tarter can be reached at 686-3260 or starter@ pjstar.com
Could that have been a starter-generator, and not a
typical car starter? You might solve the mystery if
you could find out precisely what make & model starter
was used & how it might have been modified.
Google search for solar-generator india:
--- le_chevalier_azul <jensano@...> wrote:
> Many thanks for the info, Sir Jan
> Actually, that's a total mystery to me. It's not
> really my idea to
> use a Car Starter as the main motor for my Electric
> Bike, I saw a
> three wheeler in our city using it. And that's
> actually the reason,
> why I made this inquiry 'coz I had the same reaction
> at first: "A Car
> Starter... duh??? Is that reliable".
Looking for earth-friendly autos?
Browse Top Cars by "Green Rating" at Yahoo! Autos' Green Center.
A new material prevents overheating, making lithium-ion batteries safer for use in vehicles.
By Kevin Bullis
A new polymer material could prevent the type of battery explosions that led to last year's massive recalls of lithium-ion laptop batteries. (See "Safer Lithium-Ion Batteries.") By making such batteries safer, the new material could help clear the way for the widespread use of lithium-ion batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in laptops because they're small and light compared with the alternatives. In cars they could replace the nickel metal hydride batteries used in hybrids now, saving room and improving fuel economy by reducing weight. But so far they haven't been used extensively in cars, in part because of safety concerns. (See "Are Lithium-Ion Electric Cars Safe?")
The batteries can explode and burst into flame when they overheat--a result of overcharging or of the electrodes inside the battery coming into contact, causing an electrical short. While a laptop fire can be dangerous, batteries for such devices only involve a few cells. A fire caused by thousands of cells in a battery pack for cars could be much worse.
Last year, millions of laptops were recalled by such major companies as Apple and Dell because metal particles were accidentally incorporated into battery cells during manufacturing. In rare cases, these particles could penetrate a plastic sheet called a separator that ordinarily prevents the positive and negative electrodes within a cell from touching. Such an event can generate heat, which can cause the separator to break down further, resulting in more shorting and more heating. At high enough temperatures, the electrode materials decompose, releasing oxygen and leading to more-rapid heating and, ultimately, an explosion and fire.
Researchers at Tonen Chemical, an affiliate of ExxonMobil Chemical based in Tokyo, Japan, have developed a new separator that plays an active role in keeping batteries from overheating. The material could make it possible to slow the reactions, allowing the battery to cool off rather than bursting into flame, says Peter Roth, program manager for advanced technology development at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, NM. Sandia is now testing the safety features of the new separator.
Separators are electrically insulating materials that have been engineered to have pores that allow lithium ions to shuttle back and forth between a battery's electrodes while the battery is being charged and discharged. A new generation of separators are designed to soften when they reach a certain temperature, about 130 ºC. That closes the pores, shutting off the current flow. In some cases, this will stop the overheating. But if the temperature continues to rise in the cell, these materials melt completely, breaking down and causing massive electrical shorts that can accelerate heating. If the cell tops 180 ºC, the electrode materials can decompose, releasing oxygen that allows the battery's electrolyte to catch fire and the battery to explode.
Unlike these separators, which break down at a little above 150 ºC, the new Tonen material stays intact up to 190 ºC. By preventing massive electrical shorting, the new separator could prevent the accelerated heating that leads to explosions, Roth says.
The performance of the separator is due to the fact that it incorporates more than one polymer: one that softens at 130 ºC to shut down current, and another to keep the separator intact to prevent shorting. Since the material can be made by modifying existing manufacturing equipment, it could quickly be available in large amounts, according to Koichi Kono, Tonen's R&D manager. "Commercially, we are ready," he says.
Other companies have developed alternative approaches to making lithium-ion batteries safer, including using different electrode materials or nonflammable electrolytes, or adding a thin layer of ceramic material to keep the electrodes separated. While the ceramics can survive very high temperatures, questions remain about how well they can be incorporated into manufacturing processes and whether they will be too expensive, Roth says. "The goal is to have batteries that fail gracefully rather than explosively."
It's not perfect... we're a little discouraged because the digital quality of the tapes totally degraded, so it will never be a film or a dvd... but hopefully the message will get out faster this way.
Ken Sasaki and the Tiki Boys gave us the right to use their music, which really gives this project the flavor it needed to make it real... I can't thank Ken enough, so if you do write or blog about this, please mention his band.
It's not perfect... we're a little discouraged because the digital quality of the tapes totally degraded, so it will never be a film or a dvd... but hopefully the message will get out faster this way.
Ken Sasaki and the Tiki Boys gave us the right to use their music, which really gives this project the flavor it needed to make it real... I can't thank Ken enough, so if you do write or blog about this, please mention his band.
Tesla Energy Group, a New Division of Tesla Motors, Signs Development and Supply Agreement Worth $43 Million With Think of Norway
New Division of Tesla Motors to Develop and Market Battery Packs for Clients in Automotive and Other Industries
SAN CARLOS, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 22, 2007 -- Tesla Energy Group, a newly formed division of Tesla Motors, recently signed an agreement to supply Think Global with lithium-ion battery packs for their line of "TH!NK city" electric cars. The supply agreement covers the development and delivery of battery packs starting in December 2007 and continuing through 2008. The supply agreement represents up to $43 million in revenues, of which approximately $3 million is expected to be realized in 2007 with the remainder in 2008.
Tesla Energy Group was formed in December of 2006 to develop and market custom designed battery packs for customers in a wide range of industries, utilizing Tesla's patent pending technology for the development of high-power, high-capacity battery packs with superior performance and safety characteristics. Tesla Motors created Tesla Energy Group in response to demand from outside companies for advanced lithium-ion battery pack technology for automotive and other industrial use.
"The establishment of the Tesla Energy Group adds a significant new dimension to the business of Tesla Motors," said Martin Eberhard, CEO of Tesla Motors. "Tesla Energy Group will provide additional sources of operating income for Tesla Motors while accelerating our competitive advantage in battery pack design and manufacturing. Both of these support our core business of developing and marketing extraordinary electric cars such as the Tesla Roadster."
"Tesla Energy Group provides Think with an advanced battery pack design with impressive performance," said Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think.
Think's mission is to create the most environmentally friendly vehicles in the world in a commercially successful way. The second generation TH!NK city vehicle combines award-winning design with comfort and convenience features that make it a pleasure to drive. The new vehicle is expected to be launched in Norway in 2007, and selected international markets in 2008. More information about Think can be found on http://www.think.no.
About Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors develops and manufactures vehicles that exemplify "Design, Performance, and Efficiency" while conforming to all U.S. safety, environmental and durability standards. The company has taken over 400 reservations for its first car, the Tesla Roadster, a stylish, high performance sports car that accelerates to 60 mph in about 4 seconds with extreme energy efficiency. Tesla expects to start shipping Tesla Roadsters to customers in the fall. Tesla Motors was founded in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning to create efficient electric cars for people who love to drive. Tesla Motors currently employs more than 200 people, including teams in California, Michigan, the U.K. and Taiwan. For more information, visit www.teslamotors.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: Phoenix Motorcar's sport utility truck is powered by UQM electric drive and Altairnano lithium ion battery, which appears to have now set the standard for state-of-the-art electric vehicle batteries.
Official testimony at 24 May 2007 California Air Resources Board meeting in San Diego.
I've looked into the eyes of Altairnano's Alan Gotcher and Phoenix Motorcar's Dan Elliott and both have personally assured me that Altairnano's lithium titanate battery chemistry is the real deal, but it's hard not to be skeptical. After all, both Gotcher and Elliott, whose company uses Altair's Nanosafe lithium ion battery in the all-electric sport utility truck pictured above, have vested interests in putting the best face on the technology.
But as far as I know, AeroVironment in Monrovia, California, has no such interest.
Charles Botford gave EV World a heads up last week that he'd have important news to report about Altairnano's battery. Besides building UAVs for the military, and industrial fast chargers, the company also tests batteries, and last week it hosted a test for members of the California Air Resources Board that demonstrated Altairnano and Phoenix Motorcar's claim that the battery can be recharged in less than 10 minutes time, and do so without deleterious effect on the battery.
According to Botsford's testimony, which you can listen to along with that of Dan Elliott, Ken Boshart, Evan House and Robert Pedraza using the MP3 players above, his company has been quietly testing the batteries, first at the cell level, then at the module level and finally at the pack level. To date, AVinc, has run 50 ten-minute fast charging cycles at the module level with a 120-minute discharge to simulate travel at 60 mph, So far, the module has shown no degradation whatsoever, which leads AVinc to conclude that pack life appears to be following the extended cycle life they've observed at the cell level.
AeroVironment's findings appear to confirm Altairnano's claims that the battery should be good for tens of thousands of cycles equivalent to 500,000 miles of vehicle travel.
The second big piece of news was Dan Elliott's announcement that an upgraded battery pack is in the works that should give their SUT a range of between 200-250 miles. The current projected range is 130 miles for a vehicle with a top speed of 95 mph. He also stated that as long as CARB doesn't change the current system of ZEV credits, his company will be able to sell vehicles by 2009 without the benefit of any government incentives.
Altairnano's Evan House said the company knows how to get the price of its batteries down and offered the company's chemistry to other battery manufacturers.
However, in a classic 'good cop/bad cop' play to the Board, Robert Pedraza warned that if CARB changes the ZEV credit system that is helping Phoenix buy early and very expensive versions of Altairnano's batteries, that Altair may be forced to re-evaluate the EV market and shift its focus to stationary battery applications instead.
Finally, Ken Boshart made the case that if the Board continues to favor fuel cell technology, it will be supporting technology that will bring little economic benefits to the State, whereas, battery electric car companies including Phoenix, Tesla, Miles and ZAP are creating jobs in the state right now.
We had to do a little editing to get all five speakers on the same MP3 file, but we felt together they tell a compelling story, We thank ARB for webcasting the meeting. Watch for more testimony, as well as the official report from the ZEV expert panel, which we'll feature in the coming days.
Copyright 1998-2007, EVWorld.com, Inc. All rights reserved. Non-subscriber content on EV World may be freely distributed with the only stipulation being that EV World be credited and a link is provided back to the site. Some portions of this website require a $29.00US annual subscription. EVWorld.com, Inc. - P.O. Box 461132 - Papillion, Nebraska 68046 USA. Direct all correspondence to editor@...
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) has demonstrated the fast charge capability of Altairnano's (NASDAQ: ALTI) lithium chemistry electric vehicle battery pack for representatives of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The 35kWh (kilowatt-hour) battery pack was designed for use in the Phoenix Motorcar Sport Utility Truck. The pack is designed to allow the truck to travel more than 100 miles on a single charge.
The demonstration, conducted by engineers at AeroVironment's Monrovia, California Energy Technology Center, was a milestone in battery fast charging, demonstrating the capability of fully charging the pack in less than ten minutes.
Altairnano's claim of a ten minute charge time has been met with some raised eyebrows. CEO Alan Gotcher answered skeptics and outlined his company's technology to Inside Greentech this past February (see Altairnano power play.)
On-board battery packs that supply electricity to electric vehicles are perceived as being unable to provide sufficient driving range to promote widespread consumer adoption.
The expanded range of Altair Nanotechnologies’ battery pack, combined with its demonstrated ability to fast charge the pack in a short amount of time, could broaden the appeal of electric vehicles to a wider segment of the automobile driving population, the two companies said today.
AeroVironment engineers used a grid-connected advanced battery charger rated at 250kW. Prior testing of the Altairnano NanoSafe battery technology by AeroVironment demonstrated that such battery packs can sustain several cycles per day of ten minute charging and two hour discharging. Each cycle is equivalent to an electric vehicle traveling for two hours at 60 miles per hour.
AV was a pioneer in the conception and development of alternative energy vehicles such as the solar-powered GM Sunraycer, winner of the 1987 Australian Solar Challenge, the all-electric GM Impact, prototype for General Motors’ EV-1 electric automobile and several project-based hybrid electric and fuel cell powered vehicles.
AV created one of the first fast charge systems for early consumer electric vehicles. Its PosiCharge® fast charge systems now support thousands of electric industrial utility vehicles in daily use throughout North America.
AeroVironment Achieves Electric Vehicle Fast Charge Milestone
Test Rapidly Recharges a Battery Pack Designed for Use in Passenger Vehicles. 10 Minute Re-Charge Restores Enough Energy to Run Electric Vehicle for Two Hours at 60 Miles Per Hour
MONROVIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AeroVironment (AV) (NASDAQ:AVAV), a leader in unmanned aircraft systems and efficient electric energy systems, today announced that it performed a fast charge demonstration of a lithium chemistry electric vehicle battery pack for representatives of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The 35kWh (kilowatt-hour) battery pack, developed by Altair Nanotechnologies (NASDAQ:ALTI), is designed for use in the Phoenix Motorcar Sport Utility Truck. This battery pack is designed to allow the truck to travel more than 100 miles on a single charge. The test, conducted by engineers at AV’s Monrovia, California Energy Technology Center, was a milestone in battery fast charging, demonstrating the capability of fully charging the pack in less than ten minutes.
Electric vehicles offer the potential to eliminate automobile-based emissions including carbon, which is frequently linked to global climate change. The on-board battery packs that supply electricity to electric vehicles are perceived as being unable to provide sufficient driving range to promote widespread consumer adoption. The expanded range of Altair Nanotechnologies’ new battery pack, combined with AV’s demonstrated ability to fast charge the pack in a short amount of time, represent a significant development that could broaden the appeal of electric vehicles to a wider segment of the automobile driving population.
“This is an important step forward in demonstrating a key infrastructure element required to support zero emission vehicles,” said Joe Edwards, vice president and general manager of AV’s Energy Technology Center. “Our PosiCharge® fast charge technology has demonstrated itself to be reliable for the daily operation of thousands of heavily used, low voltage electric industrial vehicles throughout North America. Our ability to fast charge high voltage battery packs used in consumer electric vehicles safely and in such a short period of time will help to extend the useful range of these vehicles greatly, eliminating a significant objection to their use in everyday applications.”
AV engineers used a grid-connected AV advanced battery charger rated at 250kW. Prior testing of the Altairnano NanoSafe battery technology by AV demonstrated that such battery packs can sustain several cycles per day of ten minute charging and two hour discharging. Each cycle is equivalent to an electric vehicle traveling for two hours at 60 miles per hour.
AV was a pioneer in the conception and development of alternative energy vehicles such as the solar-powered GM Sunraycer, winner of the 1987 Australian Solar Challenge, the all-electric GM Impact, prototype for General Motors’ EV-1 electric automobile, and several project-based hybrid electric and fuel cell powered vehicles. AV created one of the first fast charge systems for early consumer electric vehicles. Its PosiCharge® fast charge systems now support thousands of electric industrial utility vehicles in daily use throughout North America.
About AeroVironment, Inc. (AV)
Building on a history of technological innovation, AV designs, develops, produces, and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and efficient electric energy systems. The company's small UAS are used extensively by agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and increasingly by allied military forces to deliver real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition to tactical operating units. AV’s PosiCharge® fast charge systems eliminate battery changing for electric industrial vehicles in factories, airports, and distribution centers. For more information about AV, please visit www.avinc.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements herein include, but are not limited to, the risk that studies or trials of AV technology and/or products will not proceed as anticipated or may not be successful, or that AV products will not receive regulatory clearances or approvals; the uncertainty that AV’s technology and products will be accepted and adopted by the market; legal, ethical, and social issues which could affect demand for AV’s products and electric vehicles generally; and general economic and business conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world.; and. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For the first time in the industry, Valence Technology, Inc. delivers Lithium-ion technology in universal Lead-acid sizes for large format applications. The U-Charge® Power System is a family of 12-volt Lithium-ion energy storage systems that offers twice the run-time and a significantly lower total cost of ownership than standard Lead-acid deep cycle applications.
Traditionally, the motive industry has relied on Lead-acid batteries to power devices such as wheelchairs, scooters, electric bicycles, marine vehicles and more because Lead-acid was the only choice. The U-Charge® Power System Family is changing that! Today, the U-Charge® system is conveniently packaged in standard Lead-acid sizes ideally suited for a variety of motive applications. Utilizing Saphion® Lithium-ion technology, the U-Charge® system combines superior performance with safety features making it the high-end alternative to Lead-acid deep cycle battery solutions.
The U-Charge® system is the choice over Lead-acid systems
For years, the industry has accepted the many hazards of Lead-acid batteries, including the explosive gases generated during charging, the toxic nature of lead inside the battery which creates disposal issues, and the corrosive sulfuric acid electrolyte. Now, with the U-Charge® system’s patented Saphion® Lithium-ion technology and massive energy potential, there is a direct replacement for traditional Lead-acid solutions: A replacement that is longer lasting, lighter and safer than Lead-acid battery systems.
Lower overall cost of ownership
The U-Charge® system requires little to no maintenance, delivers greater energy density, better reliability and more safety at a lower cost of ownership than Lead-acid batteries. How is this possible? Saphion® Lithium-ion technology makes it possible. Saphion® technology provides long run-time, exceptional cycle life, and superior shelf life. Saphion® technology combines the power of Lithium-ion with the safety of phosphates making it a superior alternative to traditional Lead-acid.
The advantages of Saphion® Lithium-ion technology
Saphion® technology utilizes a phosphate-based cathode material in place of the metal-oxide materials typically used in Lithium-ion solutions. Saphion® technology is chemically and thermally stable, enabling the creation of safe, large format battery solutions like the U-Charge® system. And, it offers the energy density advantages of Lithium-ion technology. The U-Charge® system: A high quality product of considerable value.
U-Charge® Power System Features
Superior performance over Lead-acid batteries
33% lighter with twice the run-time
Longer shelf life and faster recharge time
Smart battery monitoring and internal cell balancing
No Lead-acid leaks
Intrinsic phosphate safety that protects against abusive situations.
Environmentally friendly, no heavy metals or disposal issues.
High energy efficiency with no memory effect.
Lower lifetime costs due to low maintenance and high cycle life.
Packaged in universal sizes for the motive market: U1, U201, U24, U27
U1 U-Charge® System Performance
Saphion® Technology Improvement
Capacity (Ah@ C/5)
Nominal Energy (Wh)
Cycle Life (80% DOD)
Nominal Weight (kg)
Cost of Ownership
Note: Cost of ownership based on run time of 5 amp motor, cycles to 80% DOD and purchase price. Performance may vary depending on, but not limited to, the following conditions: installation and use, charging rate, depth of discharge, temperature.
Firefly charges up in Peoria
Start-up battery maker tries to jump hurdle; county to decide if it will
co-sign $6 million loan
Sunday, June 10, 2007
By MOLLY PARKER
Of the Journal Star
PEORIA - Firefly Energy Inc. is about to get $12.5 million in public
financial support, even though the 4-year-old high-tech battery company has
yet to mass-produce a single battery component.
Tour the headquarters of the Caterpillar Inc. spinoff, primarily on the
second floor of Illinois Central College's North Campus, and it's clear
Firefly is eager to jump the market hurdle that separates the weak from the
Wild mathematical markings are scribbled on dry-erase boards in various
rooms. The research labs look more like they belong in a high school, if not
for the complex-looking scientific equipment. But directions are taped to
one, on a white paper napkin.
A computer-generated sign with clip art hangs on a door, noting an
Two men wielding a tape measure discuss how to squeeze out more working
space than was ever intended for the old Zeller Mental Health Center.
Much about Firefly looks startup.
It just isn't behaving that way.
"We have a very rapid research and applied engineering timeline compared to
other battery companies," said CEO Edward Williams, forced to move his
the Journal Star twice as employees returned to their offices, or the
conference room that doubles as a break room, where the door is propped open
by a competitor's battery.
Williams had to give up his own office to support the growing staff, now 35
strong. "We're moving very, very fast," he said.
Firefly has generated worldwide press for its patented technology, which it
boasts will eventually make batteries in Army tanks, cars, golf carts, lawn
mowers, vacuums and other devices run twice as long while taking up less
What Intel is to the computer world, Firefly hopes to become to the world's
$16 billion lead-acid battery industry.
It doesn't want to reinvent the battery, just make it work smarter.
Even in its infancy, Firefly has learned to work the government, acquiring
millions of taxpayer dollars in the form of capital, a pair of defense
contracts, tax breaks and, if all goes as planned, an unprecedented
financial backing from the city and county to secure a private loan.
The Peoria County Board on Thursday will vote whether to join the city in
co-signing a $6 million loan National City Bank is poised to grant but
considers too risky without the government being a guarantor.
"I see it as one of the safest loans that we could make," County Board
Chairman Bill Prather said earlier this month as the board's tax and finance
committees unanimously supported the agreement. "If I had the money, I'd
make it myself."
Even with good odds, the deal is a gamble on the taxpayers' dime. But having
seen other Peoria-born research slip away for development elsewhere,
community leaders are shaking the public's piggy bank, hoping to keep
Firefly in town.
"The one thing no one has asked is, what would be the risk if they left?"
said state Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria.
Williams acknowledged the company has received a lot of public funds, but he
said Firefly has generated $17.7 million in private equity from just a small
fraction of the government help it's received, much of which is put back
into the local economy.
That's a healthy return on the taxpayers' dollar, Williams said, not to
mention Firefly's success could give wings to dreams of a high-tech business
market in central Illinois.
Though details of the loan agreement are not finalized, Williams said
Firefly would be willing to sign off on a requirement that its headquarters
remain in Peoria for the five-year life of the loan, so long as the company
is not acquired.
"There's a real payback story of consequence," he said.
When Firefly sells a product, it sells Peoria too, said company Senior Vice
President Mil Ovan.
"There's such an appetite for battery technology," Ovan told a County Board
committee, "that companies around the world are beating a path to Peoria."
Federal fund, contracts
Shortly after inception, Firefly pursued the high-tech military market
because the U.S. Army, in particular, has a reputation for investing in
technology businesses in their infancy, Williams said, a gamble other
private companies are less willing to take.
Firefly tapped two retired generals to sit on its advisory board, and with
the weight of several military stars behind it, peddled its invention to
Detroit-based TARDEC, the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
The Army needs a battery that will allow soldiers in Iraq to shut off their
tank engines once reaching a desired location, reducing noise and heat while
still being able to access their surveillance equipment, Williams said.
Current tank batteries last about an hour; Firefly believes it can more than
double that. But with little experience navigating the federal
appropriations process, Firefly was denied the grant it sought in 2004 to
become part of the Army's "silent watch" program.
The next year, it got smarter. The company continued to massage its
relationship with the Army, hired a lobbying firm, and invited both U.S.
Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., for a tour.
That year about $2 million was planted in the defense appropriations budget
for Firefly to develop what it dubbed a 3D battery for the Army.
The idea is to replace the traditional lead-based negative plates found in
batteries with advanced carbon-graphite foam, which is lighter, more durable
and delivers more energy per square inch.
"We put all that together and then we just got very smart, very effective,
and to be fair, we just advanced. . . . The story just got tighter and we
were able to get that award," Williams said.
The next year, Firefly secured another $2.5 million Army contract to develop
what the company calls its 3D2 battery, which takes the technology a step
further, replacing the negative and positive lead plates with foam. The Army
hopes to use the even more powerful battery as it modernizes its fighting
tools, Williams said.
Firefly started seeing money from both contracts this spring. The first
appropriation will be doled out over about 15 months, the second over about
Lobbying firm hired
Recognizing it needed a boost on Capitol Hill, Firefly first contracted for
lobbying services in February 2005 with American Defense International, led
by Michael Herson, a man with a controversial yet proven track record of
securing military contracts for clients.
USA Today reported in October that the FBI is investigating whether Herson's
wife, Vicki Siegel Herson - a top aide to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. - broke
the law by funneling millions in defense contracts to clients of her
husband's firm. An earlier USA Today investigation showed $50 million in
appropriations went to companies Herson represents.
An internal investigation conducted by Specter's office found no wrongdoing,
but the senator did tighten rules in his office, including banning family
members of Specter or staff from lobbying him or his aides, a spokeswoman
for the senator said. The FBI declined to comment on the status of its
Firefly has paid Herson about $220,000 in just over two years, according to
the United States Senate Office of Public Records.
Herson sat on LaHood's campaign steering committee for about two years,
until LaHood disbanded it in January of last year as the controversial
relationship between lobbyists, fundraisers and earmarks was pushed to the
forefront by U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who was sent to prison two
months later for accepting bribes in exchange for earmarks for defense
"I just decided I didn't want any kind of appearance that these people were
helping me and I was helping their client," LaHood said.
LaHood was a member of the House appropriations defense subcommittee when
Firefly secured its grants and takes credit for steering the money the
company's way. But LaHood said he never spoke with Herson about Firefly, and
he didn't even realize Herson was the company's lobbyist. He denied any
Firefly is just "very good," LaHood said, and Peoria is likely to see a boon
as a result of public leaders "thinking outside the box" to keep them here.
Firefly, too, said Herson had nothing to do with securing the Army contacts.
For roughly $10,000 a month, Herson keeps the company abreast of important
deadlines and tracks relevant legislation, Ovan said.
"I'm happy to be doing what I can to get them these defense dollars," LaHood
said. "In the end, I want them in Peoria. That's going to be the icing on
the cake for us."
Other public funds
From Congress to the state, city and county, it seems politicians have
eagerly opened the public purses to help Firefly.
The Illinois Finance Authority - a self-financed, state-run organization
that aids businesses - put $1 million in equity into Firefly between 2003
and 2006. In May 2004, Peoria County partnered with the state and Illinois
Ventures for Community Action, a not-for-profit organization, to award
Firefly a $500,000 equipment loan. Less than $300,000 of the debt remains
outstanding, Williams said. Peoria County fronted $150,000 of that loan.
Still, Morton-based G&D Integrated President Joe O'Neill said Williams was
frustrated by limitations he faced - particularly with facilities - trying
to grow an early-stage technology company in central Illinois.
O'Neill is a self-described, behind-the-scenes businessman with a unique
niche: nurturing other area businesses by offering assembling, manufacturing
and transportation services.
O'Neill met Williams a few years ago at a Caterpillar event, where they
discussed Firefly's space needs. The space at ICC - for which Firefly pays
about $8,000 a month - is too cramped, but Williams said he couldn't find
another landlord with a deal he could afford.
Former Mayor Dick Carver, a friend of O'Neill's, suggested he meet with
Leitch and Mayor Jim Ardis to see if the government could help. Carver, now
a resident of Virginia, called a breakfast meeting in February when he was
in Peoria to update the City Council on the status of turning the Kellar
line into a biking/hiking trail.
Three weeks later, the City Council voted 9-2 to expand its Enterprise Zone
to include a building on Galena Road - once the site of Foster & Gallagher
Co. - where Firefly plans to move. That means a sales tax exemption on
building materials, worth an estimated $160,000.
It also provides a five-year property tax abatement, worth about $89,000
annually or $445,000 total, for G&D Integrated, the property owner, though
Firefly will also benefit from that as it will pay property taxes per the
Besides being the landlord, O'Neill is a small investor in the company and
is angling to secure a contract with Firefly to manufacture the components
that would then be shipped to battery plants elsewhere.
O'Neill said it has been fascinating to watch the deal with local political
leaders unfold, as he's never asked for government help in his decades of
doing business in central Illinois.
"I'm not familiar with the political process," he said. "It's completely
alien to me."
He has made one political contribution, Illinois State Board of Elections
records show. O'Neill wrote a $1,800 check to LaHood's Illinois fund in June
2005 as the congressman considered a run for governor.
The loan guarantee
Two months after expanding the Enterprise Zone, the City Council voted to
back half of a $6 million private loan for Firefly, also the result of
discussions that began over breakfast.
Initially, Leitch suggested loaning Firefly a piece of the $10 million that
Keystone Consolidated Industries owed the county from a zero-interest loan
the state gave the company in 2002 when it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
He called a meeting with Ardis and Prather, who informed Leitch the county
had agreed to let Keystone pay back the loan in installments. As an
alternative, this public/private-loan deal was hatched.
In return, the city and county will be given stock warrants, allowing them
to cash in on fixed-rate company stock equal to 8 percent of the loan
guarantee over a decade if the company goes public or is acquired.
Leitch trumpeted the deal to the City Council as it passed 10-0 on May 22,
saying it was the most exciting thing Peoria had done since building the
Civic Center. "This will be a moment we can all look back on and say, 'Wow,'
" said Leitch.
The state representative is also regional vice president of National City,
but said that had nothing to do with why Firefly chose to do business with
his bank. That was Firefly's bank before he got involved, he said.
"I only learned, much to my surprise, at the end of the process, of that
relationship," Leitch said. "So I was not acting because National City
wanted me to do this. I was acting because Dick Carver called me up to do
this. I didn't care what bank did it."
Still, the bank wasn't willing to give the loan without a guarantor. Doug
Stewart, the bank's regional president, said that's because banks generally
do not take that type of risk on companies still in the early stage of
Therein lies the rub for Firefly, and companies in a similar place on the
business timeline. It couldn't secure a bank loan of the size it needed, but
venture capital funds - like Tri-County Angels, which has contributed to
Firefly - are geared more toward early-stage companies, Williams said.
Caterpillar could have loaned the money to its spinoff as well, but "they
want to see the company survive as much as it can on its own," Williams
said. Already Caterpillar owns 33 percent of the company, and investing more
could give the appearance that Firefly is nothing more than a Big Yellow
Seeking alternative private investments seemed another plausible option, as
Firefly is being tabbed a sure bet. But the direction from Firefly's board,
Williams said, was to increase debt first to make the company more
attractive before seeking its third-round of big investors.
Any realized proceeds from the stock warrants granted the city and county
would go to establish a joint governmental fund to aid companies stuck in
this awkward stage where they are nearing production, but still not
"It directly addresses the fact that we've had products developed at the ag
lab that came forward but there wasn't talent or ability to bring it to
market here," said Peoria County Administrator Patrick Urich.
But if Firefly fails, the bank, after reselling any equipment purchased with
the loan, would collect the rest from the city and county. It would first
take the $1 million debt reserve fund established with the first Keystone
loan repayment to the county, and the governmental bodies would split the
remaining difference on a 59-41 percent ratio.
That's a risk that makes County Board member Merle Widmer nervous. "I keep
reminding people: What often times seem greener out there often times is
not," he said.
But everything in life carries some risk, member James Thomas challenged
back, noting that some things are worth it. "No matter how conservative you
play it, you die," he said.
Molly Parker can be reached at 686-3285 or mparker@...
Recent significant innovations in lithium-ion batteries have propelled this technology to a position in the marketplace far exceeding market survey expectations. From a vast array of portable applications, to micro medical devices, to high-power automotive, these breakthroughs have paved the way for an emerging market with unlimited potential.
Unlike other conferences which only review new materials for use in certain parts of the lithium power generating device or device specific battery applications, Lithium Mobile Power will guide you from technology and materials development through device packaging and integration to applications in a mobile power marketplace.
To share this information with a colleague, please click on "Forward email" at the bottom of this message.
Lithium Mobile Power 2007
October 29-30, 2007
Hilton San Diego Resort
San Diego, CA
Program Outline: · Cellphone Energy Gap: Myth or Reality? Stuart Robinson, Director, Handset Component Technologies, Strategy Analytics
· SAFT's Very High Power Li-Ion Technology Kamen Nechev, PhD, Senior Scientist/Advanced Technology Manager, Saft Specialty Battery Group, SAFT
· Powering Robotic Ocean Observing Systems James G. Bellingham, PhD, Chief Technologist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
· Materials Challenges for the Next Generation Li- Ion Battery Electrode Materials Sanjeev Mukerjee, PhD, Professor, Laboratory for Electrochemical Advanced Power (LEAP), Northeastern University
· A Novel, Ceramic-Coated Separator Membrane for Safer Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries Soonho Ahn, PhD, Vice President Batteries R&D, LG Chem Research Park
· The Use of Solid Electrolytes to Enable Next Generation High Energy Density Batteries Steven J. Visco, PhD, Vice President of Research, PolyPlus Battery Company
· Li-Ion Battery Electrolytes Formulated with Ionic Liquid Materials Victor R. Koch, PhD, President and CEO, Covalent Associates, Inc.
· Abuse Tolerance Issues for Li-Ion Cells E. Peter Roth, PhD, Advanced Power Sources R&D Department, Sandia National Laboratories
· Safe and Reliable Power Sources for Mission Critical Applications Robin Sarah Tichy, PhD, Technical Manager, Micro Power Electronics
· Safety Mechanism for Lithium Polymer Batteries Arno Perner, PhD, General Manager R&D, Varta Microbattery GmbH
· Quallion Matrix Battery Design Hisashi Tsukamoto, PhD, CEO and CTO, Quallion LLC
· Navy and Marine Corp Lithium Battery Mobile Power Safety Daphne Fuentevilla, Clint Justin Govar, and Clinton Winchester, Naval Surface Warfare Center
· Advanced Lithium Ion SuperPolymer Batteries for Automotive Applications Sankar Das Gupta, PhD, Chairman, President & CEO, Electrovaya Inc.
· Nano-Structured Li4Ti5O12 / Li1.06Mn1.94O4 Battery System for HEV Applications Khalil Amine, PhD, Senior Fellow, Manager, Advanced Battery Program, Argonne National Laboratory
· Advanced Anode Materials for Mobile Energy Application Hitoshi Matsumoto, Senior Researcher, Battery Materials Laboratory, R&D Division, Science & Technology Research Center Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical Group
· Advanced Lithium Ion Technology for PHEV and HEV Applications Tibor Kalnoki-Kis, PhD, Plant Manager-EEI Gainesville Facility, Electro Energy, Inc.
· High Energy Density Layered Oxide Cathodes for Mobile Applications Arumugam Manthiram, PhD, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering Program, The University of Texas at Austin
· Thermodynamics and Stability of Cathode Materials for Lithium Ion Batteries Rachid Yazami, PhD, Director, CNRS-CALTECH International Laboratory on Materials for Electrochemical Energetics, California Institute of Technology
· High Capacity Sulfur Composite Cathode Material for Li-Ion Batteries Xiangming He, PhD, Institute for Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University
· LiFePO4/Ionic Liquid-FSI/Graphite Safe Technology for HEV and PHEV Applications Karim Zaghib, PhD, Institut de Recherches á Hydro- Québec
· Kinetics of the Phase Transition During Discharge of the LiFePO4 Electrode Jan L. Allen, PhD, Research Chemist, Sensors & Electron Devices Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
· Small Magnetic Polaron Effect in LiFePO4: The Key for Electrochemical Performance in Li-Ion Batteries Christian M. Julien, PhD, Professor, Institut des Nano-Sciences de Paris, Université Paris6
· Routes to Improve Lithium Iron Phosphate for Battery Applications Margret Wohlfahrt-Mehrens, PhD, ZSW - Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff- Forschung
· Chemical and Electrochemical Reactivity of Intermediate LixFePO4 Phases Thomas J. Richardson, PhD, Staff Scientist, Environmental Energy Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
· Large Format Li-ion cells with LiFePO4 Cathode Material Kamen Nechev, PhD, Senior Scientist/Advanced Technology Manager, Saft Specialty Battery Group, SAFT
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 4:39 PM
Subject: [calcars-news] Report Toyota Will Delay
Lithium Battery Intro in Hybrids
Late last year, Toyota announced it would slow
development of some products due to concerns
about maintaining quality levels. We wondered
then if this would apply to the "next-generation"
Prius (since one generation was sold only in
Japan, that would make it Prius version 4),
expected for Model Year 2009 in fall 2008. Even
since then, Toyota has said it would include
lithium batteries, and we all hoped it might
include plug-in capabilities
A few weeks ago, reports circulated that Toyota
would delay the introduction of lithium batteries
in the Prius. But a June 7 AP story about
Toyota's reaching its milestone of having sold
one million hybrids, said "Mitsuo Kinoshita, a
senior Toyota executive, recently denied Japanese
media reports that Toyota had given up on having
a lithium-ion battery system for the
next-generation Prius. "We're still working on
it," he told reporters.
Today's Wall Street Journal reports that lithium
is out for the 2009 model because of unresolved
issues with thermal management. Its chief
automotive reporter cites sources saying Toyota
President Katsuaki Watanabe made the call. Toyota
will instead use "more advanced" nickel-metal
hydride batteries. (NiMH has lower energy density
than Li-Ion, and the price of the raw materials
has risen sharply in recent years. But they are
fully proven and have minimal safety issues.)
We imagine the company will make a formal
statement. Meanwhile, this means two things:
First, there is clearly plenty of life left in
NiMH -- and if Toyota wanted to, there's no
reason the 2009 Prius or the "Prius derivative"
station wagon described in the WSJ couldn't be a
PHEV with a substantial electric-only low-speed range.
Second, as the WSJ story says, this improves the
chances that GM will be first with a PHEV Volt or
VUE. (And, since all carmakers watch each other
closely, this could prompt some reasoned voices
within GM to take more seriously the suggestions
that Version 1.0 of GM's first PHEVs could get to
market sooner with NiMH than with Li-Ion.)
We include the WSJ story below. It's followed by
a USA Today report on the evolution of Toyota's
goals for introducing hybrid models. The slowdown
described (one-third of 35 vehicles will have a
hybrid option around 2010) doesn't necessarily
conflict with the May statement by Toyota's
Masatami Takimoto that all its cars will be
hybrids by 2020. The article says Toyota is also
looking at diesel hybrids -- no mention of
flex-fuel hybrids, which have problems meeting
low pollution standards because of evaporative emissions.
Toyota Delays Use Of Lithium-Ion Batteries
In New Prius Hybrids
By Norihiko Shirouzu
Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2007 12:42 a.m.
TOYOTA CITY, Japan - Toyota Motor Corp., alarmed
by growing concern over the safety of lithium-ion
battery technology, has decided not to use that
technology for the initial versions of the
next-generation Prius gasoline-electric hybrid
car, whose launch was scheduled for the autumn of
next year, according to individuals familiar with
Toyota's product plans.
The move, those individuals said, is aimed
chiefly at dealing with potential problems with
the application of lithium-ion batteries in the
redesigned Prius - a new technology that packs
more electricity in the same space and weight
than the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in
nearly all hybrid vehicles sold today.
Toyota had hoped the new battery technology would
allow its engineers to halve the size of the
current hybrid propulsion system using
nickel-metal hydride batteries, thereby making
the hybrid substantially cheaper and more
fuel-efficient. The kind of lithium-ion battery
technology that was under consideration for use
in the Prius - one based on lithium cobalt oxide
-- has shown a tendency to overheat and catch on
fire -- a problem that has bedeviled computer
makers using lithium-ion batteries made by
Japan's Sony Corp. The delay also comes in
response to the recent rise in product recalls
and other quality gaffes in new Toyota vehicles,
the individuals who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
They said the decision was made ultimately by
Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe who in the
recent past has voiced concern about Toyota's
vehicle quality - what he has repeated called the
auto maker's "lifeline." In the U.S., the number
of recalls hit 2.38 million vehicles in 2005,
before settling down to 601,894 vehicles last
year, according to Toyota. The company plans to
use a more advanced version of nickel-metal
hydride batteries for the initial launch of the
next-generation Prius, people familiar with the
company's plans said.
Nickel-metal hydride batteries are a less
sophisticated kind of technology than lithium-ion
batteries but have been used in the Prius since
1997 and proven in real life driving for nearly a
decade. Still, that doesn't mean the company has
given up lithium-ion battery technology
altogether. Toyota already has been testing a
Prius equipped with a still-experimental
lithium-ion battery pack on the company's proving
ground in Toyota City. The car was being
test-driven as recently as last week. The
individuals said Toyota plans to launch the new
battery technology as soon as it believes it is
robust enough for mass production and real-life
driving. That means, they said, the Japanese auto
maker will likely equip a later derivative of the
next-generation Prius with lithium-ion batteries.
It wasn't clear when that Prius derivative,
believed to be a station wagon, is coming out. A
spokesman at Toyota's supplier of those
lithium-ion batteries, Panasonic EV Energy
Co. Ltd., declined to comment.
Toyota's move to postpone an application of
lithium-ion batteries in hybrids will likely
provide a big break for Toyota's rivals, such as
General Motors Corp. which is trying to come out
with hybrid vehicles using lithium-ion batteries
as early as in 2009. People familiar with GM's
product plans said GM had all but given up its
hopes to beat Toyota to market with a
gasoline-electric hybrid with a lithium-ion
battery pack. GM, those people said, has been
aiming at launching a Saturn Vue Green Line
plug-in hybrid by the autumn of 2009. "This is a
big break" for GM, one of those people said.
A Toyota spokesman in Tokyo said: "We always try
to launch a product in a most timely fashion as possible."
The move is part of Toyota President Mr.
Watanabe's effort to slow down the pace of
product development in order to shore up vehicle
quality and reliability following a string of
recalls and other quality gaffes in recent years.
Last year, Mr. Watanabe told The Wall Street
Journal that after a two-month review of its
product-development processes, the company
concluded engineers in some cases might have
rushed out products without conducting enough
quality checks, such as building prototypes. He
said he intended to boost the number of those
quality checks and would hire more engineers to do so.
Toyota scales back hybrid plans
By JAMES R. HEALEY
USA Today, June 11, 2007
After taking a decade to sell its first 1 million
gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles worldwide,
Toyota Motor now says it plans to sell
1 million a year within a few years.
At the same time, the big automaker appears to be
backing away from a pledge made a few years ago
that hybrid powertrains would be available as
options on nearly every U.S. vehicle by 2010.
"The right car, at the right place, at the right
time, in accordance with energy trends," said
Mira Sleilati, spokeswoman at Toyota Motor North
America, the automaker's holding company. Her
comment was via e-mail, in response to questions
about Toyota's alternative-power vehicles.
"Hybrid technology is our core technology, and we
will double our hybrid lineup. At the same time,
we are accelerating the pace of our efforts to
achieve annual sales of 1 million units in the
early part of the 2010s," she said in the e-mail.
That would be less ambitious than promised in
October 2003 at the Tarrytown, N.Y., briefing
on the redesigned Prius hybrid.
Doubling the U.S. hybrid line would result in 12
hybrids, just one-third the 35 total models sold
by Toyota's namesake brand, its Lexus luxury
brand and its Scion youth brand - and not until
after the 2010 date promised at the 2003 briefing.
How does that amount to "accelerating the pace"
of hybrid launches? Sleilati wouldn't explain:
"We, on behalf of TMC (Toyota Motor Corp., the
Japanese parent company) are unable to provide
any additional comment beyond this, particularly
in regards to product planning or timing."
Regardless, Toyota would be the most ambitious
hybrid marketer at a time that $3 gasoline has
made fuel-saving hybrids popular in America.
Sales of gasoline-electric hybrids should boom
226 percent to 854,000 in 2011 from 262,000 last
year, according to a forecast by J.D. Power and
Associates. "If gas prices stay high, the sky's
the limit," says J.D. Power spokesman John Tews.
The United States, in fact, is the biggest hybrid
market. It accounted for 163,000 of Toyota's
313,000 total hybrid sales last year, or 52
percent. And the United States accounted for
about 57 percent of the first 1 million worldwide
sales, which Toyota announced last week.
The automaker introduced its Prius
gasoline-electric hybrid in Japan in 1997 and in
the USA in 2000. It now also sells hybrid
versions of the Camry sedan and Highlander SUV
and of the Lexus LS and GS sedans and RX SUV.
Honda, Ford Motor, General Motors and Nissan also
offer hybrids, though sales lag behind Toyota substantially.
Fuel economy is the main selling point. Toyota's
Camry hybrid is rated 34 miles per gallon in
combined city-highway driving under 2008 federal
rules versus 25 mpg for the highest-rated gasoline Camry.
Toyota also says it is mulling diesel-power
passenger vehicles and expects to announce those
plans, if any, next month. Rival Honda plans U.S. diesel cars in 2009.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Felix Kramer fkramer@...
Founder California Cars Initiative
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Yahoo! Groups Links
Mitusbishi's i MiEV (i Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle), will be on sale in just three years time
We could all be driving electric powered cars sooner than we thought possible as new developments in battery technology gather pace, new companies form to develop the next generation lithium-ion cells, and the imminent opening of massive new battery producing factories in Asia gets underway.
Among the latest news – leading battery maker A123Systems is planning to introduce lithium-ion cells for use in gas-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, and buses – a move that pushes one of the key technologies for alternative vehicles closer to market at a time when fuel prices are soaring.
The new lithium-ion batteries have 10 times the capacity of those now used in hybrid electric vehicles, such as Toyota’s Prius.
A123Systems has raised $102 million in funding and is one of a number of start-ups and larger battery companies competing to develop better materials and hammer out the engineering wrinkles.
General Motors and other car manufacturers are, or will, begin testing the batteries in their hybrid models and plug-in prototypes, A123Systems’ CEO David Vieau has said.
Meanwhile, over in Japan, GS Yuasa and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation are setting-up a joint venture company to manufacture lithium-ion batteries. The partners aim to have the new company up and operating within six months.
During the first stage of development, three-billion yen will be invested to install automated mass production lines within GS Yuasa's Kyoto head office plant, capable of manufacturing 200,000 cells a year. Full-scale operations are slated to commence by 2009.
Mitsubishi plans to install the batteries in its next generation EV "i MiEV" (i Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle), which it hopes to have on sale by 2010, a mere three years away.
Bringing Lithium-ion Battery Technology to North America
CPI is a North American subsidiary of LG Chem Ltd., one of the world's
largest producers of lithium-ion batteries for automotive (Hybrid Electric
Vehicles - HEVs) and non-automotive (commercial, military, conversion, and
portable equipment) applications. As such, the company has accumulated
expertise in the development of safe, high-power/high-energy, compact, and
lightweight lithium-ion battery systems.
CPI was formed in 2000 in the United States with a mission to become the
supplier of choice for state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology for
automotive and industrial applications. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, at
the heart of the automotive industry, CPI is an easily accessible local
source for the research, development, engineering, design, and packaging of
CPI's uniqueness as a provider of lithium-ion batteries lies in various
Its expertise and experience in engineering, designing, producing and
packaging lithium-ion batteries
Its ability to provide turn-key solutions for vehicular applications
Its ability to provide customized solutions depending on the application
Its experience in and relationships with the North American vehicle industry
Its ability to call on the resources of LG Chem Ltd.
August 2006 - CPI awarded US Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) lithium-ion
polymer HEV battery technology development program
Q: What is the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries versus NiMH?
A: Lithium-ion cells use chemistries that are environmentally more benign
than chemistries typically used in NiMH batteries.
Q: Are lithium-ion batteries cost comparable to NiMH?
A: Lithium-ion batteries can be more cost-effective than NiMH and other
battery alternatives when consideration is given to the increased power and
energy density, extended life, and reduced servicing required with
lithium-ion battery packs.
Sr. Vice President
The Millerschin Group
Email: dpacini@ millerschingroup.com
Business and Finance Manager
Email: cgroesbeck@ compactpower.com
Compact Power, Inc. Wins Lithium-Ion Battery Development Program For General
Motors Hybrid Electric Vehicles - June 5th, 2007
A Subsidiary of LG Chem
1857 Technology Dr., Troy, MI 48083 U.S.A.
Tel.: 248-307-1800 * Fax: 248-597-0900
Troy, Mich. - June 5, 2007 - Compact Power, Inc. (CPI), a subsidiary of LG
Chem, announced today it has been chosen by General Motors Corp. to develop
a lithium-ion battery system for the carmaker's innovative E-Flex propulsion
system. The E-Flex electric vehicle architecture underpins the Chevy Volt
concept car shown earlier this year and is being developed as part of GM's
strategy to diversify transportation away from petroleum.
The 12-month program involves the development of battery cells and battery
packs using LG Chem's lithium-ion technology designed to meet the stringent
energy and power requirements of these highly fuel efficient vehicles.
The cells will be developed and supplied by LG Chem, CPI's parent company,
while CPI will focus on pack development and assembly including mechanical
integration, thermal and electronic management and vehicle interface.
"This development contract further validates that lithium-ion is the
preferred battery technology for the automotive industry," said Prabhakar
Patil, CEO of CPI. "Our expertise and leadership in lithium-ion batteries
will contribute significantly to this program. We are honored to partner
with GM in bringing a line of vehicles to the marketplace that are
technologically advanced and provide exceptional fuel economy and reduced
greenhouse gas emissions. This award is a significant step in our goal to
become the vehicle OEM's supplier partner of choice for HEV battery
"This technology is developing rapidly," said Denise Gray, GM director of
hybrid energy storage devices. "This contract is an opportunity to deeply
understand the differing battery technologies before making a production
First shown in January 2007 at the North American International Auto Show
(NAIAS) in Detroit, the E-Flex concept was introduced as part of the Chevy
Volt concept car. It is an electric vehicle with a traveling range of up to
40 miles using battery power and a small engine with a generator to extend
its range to 640 miles. A plug-in fuel cell variant of the E-Flex system was
shown at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.
Chief Executive Officer
Prabhakar Patil is chief executive officer (CEO) of Compact Power, Inc.
(CPI), the North American subsidiary of lithium-ion battery-maker, LG Chem
(LGC), Korea. In this position, he has overall responsibility for the
strategic direction, engineering and business development activities of the
Prior to joining CPI in 2005, Dr. Patil spent his entire professional career
of 27 years at Ford Motor Company in various engineering and management
positions. He served as chief engineer for Ford's Hybrid Technologies during
2003 and was also chief engineer for the Ford Escape Hybrid from 1998 to
Dr. Patil received his undergraduate degree from IIT, Bombay, and his PhD in
Aerospace Engineering from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has 12
patents, published 22 articles and received the Henry Ford Technology Award
in 1991 for his work in Electric Vehicle Powertrain Development.
Martin Klein is engineering director for Compact Power, Inc. (CPI). He has
overall responsibility for the design, development and validation of
lithium-ion polymer-based battery packs and Battery Management Systems
Prior to joining CPI in January 2006, Klein held a number of increasingly
responsible positions at Ford Motor Company and Visteon Electronics
(formerly the Electronics Division of Ford) over 17 years in the areas of
electronics module design, systems integration, and program management both
in the United States and Europe. Prior to this, he gained eight years of
experience with Texas Instruments and Electrospace Systems, Inc. (now part
of Raytheon) in defense systems electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).
Klein received a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the University of
Michigan and a Masters in Electronic and Computer Control Systems from Wayne
State University, Detroit, Mich. He has been a member of the Society of
Automotive Engineers (SAE) for four years and serves on the Hybrid Technical
Mohamed Alamgir is research director for Compact Power, Inc. (CPI), a
leading developer of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles
(HEVs). He brings over 25 years of experience to his current position, where
he is primarily responsible for the research, development and engineering of
CPI battery cells. He joined CPI in 2000.
Prior to joining CPI, Alamgir was research manager for High Energy
Technologies (1996 - 2000) and Rechargeable Battery Industries Corp.
(1995-1996), where he worked to improve lithium-ion technology for
He also spent a year (1995) at Lithium Technology Corporation as a research
manager and started his career at EIC Laboratories where he spent 10 years
(1985-95) as a research engineer working on the performance and safety of
Alamgir earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Brandeis University,
Waltham, Mass., and a Master of Science in electrochemistry from Technische
Hochschule, Mersburg, Germany.
Globally, companies sold more than $32 billion in nanotechnology-enabled products last year. Yep, nanotech is here to stay, but what the heck is it? 42% of us don't know what it is, but it makes fabric water resistant (which not everyone likes) and can help glass clean itself. Here are some of our favorite implementations.
1) First of all, nanotech "matters" because of the absolutely endless problem-solving possibilities it offers the world, from the nano scale on up. Carbon tubes manufactured to this size -- nanotubes -- are stronger than steel wire, more conducive than copper wire and can support their weight a million times over. The possible applications are vast.
2) Buckypaper, named for Buckminsterfullerene and our old friend Buckminster Fuller and made from the carbon nanotubes mentioned above, is 10 times lighter and 250 times stronger than steel, but is also highly conductive of heat and electricity. If the researchers are successful in making Buckypaper hold a charge it would be more energy-efficient, lighter, and would allow for a more uniform level of brightness than current CRT and LCD technology.
3) Similarly, NanoSafe battery cells show some promise in replacing current lithium-ion technology; even after 15,000 cycles, the cells still retained over 85% of their original charge capacity. Phoenix Motorcars will feature them in their upcoming line of electric pickup trucks. The remaining two picks are after the jump...
4) As with all new, innovative technologies, nanotechnology has attracted its fair share of controversy, garnering both steadfast advocates who tout its merits in revolutionizing healthcare, surveillance and materials and firm detractors who question its potential effects on human health and the environment. While it's still too early to tell, we sure hope the benefits outweigh the risks.
5) Lastly, (and with tough firmly in cheek), we present the Old to a nano. Apple has "borrowed" a few of the central tenets of nanotech and applied it to a diminutive version of its iPod, which we trumpeted as the "Green Product of the Year" in 2005. Whoever said that size matters?
If being able to recharge your future collection of batteries "a thousand times more" than your existing stockpile sounds enticing, a team of NC State physicists now have your attention. Thanks to their research on the electromechanical properties of the commonly used polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), they have discovered that when combined with CTFE (that's yet another polymer), it may allow capacitors to store "up to seven times more energy than those currently in use." According to Vivek Ranjan, the process moves atoms within the material "in order to make the polymer rearrange with the least voltage," and this storage booster could even be used to allow electriccars of the future to sport the "same acceleration capability as a gas-powered sports car." Sounds like more than a few manufacturers are desperate for something like this, eh?
Imagine an electric car with the same acceleration capability as a gas-powered sports car, or ultrafast rechargeable “batteries” that can be recharged a thousand times more than existing conventional batteries. According to physicists at North Carolina State University, all of these things are possible, thanks to their research on a polymer – or plastic material – that when used as a dielectric in capacitors may allow the capacitors to store up to seven times more energy than those currently in use.
NC State physicists Vivek Ranjan, Liping Yu, Marco Buongiorno Nardelli and Jerry Bernholc discovered how the electromechanical properties of the commonly used polymer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) can be enhanced when combined with another polymer called CTFE.
Their findings , which explain an earlier observation of high energy density in these materials and point out ways to improve energy storage, will be published in the July 26, 2007, edition of Physical Review Letters.
Capacitors, like batteries, are a means of storing energy. Unlike batteries, capacitors don’t rely on a chemical reaction to produce the energy being stored. Instead, capacitors use polarization, the separation of positively and negatively charged particles, for energy storage. Part of this process involves applying an electric field to a dielectric material within the capacitor.
Dielectric material is usually a solid material that isn’t a good conductor of electricity – like ceramic, glass or plastic – but that will support an electrostatic field. When voltage is applied to a dielectric, an electrostatic field is created. The atoms within the material polarize, enabling the capacitor to store energy that can be quickly released on demand.
This ability to release large amounts of energy quickly makes capacitors especially useful in anything requiring quick acceleration times.
Physicists have long been interested in the electrical properties of the polymer PVDF, because it is known to be a dielectric material. In its solid state, PVDF can be either polar or non-polar, and it doesn’t change states when an electrical field is applied, leading to small energy storage. The researchers discovered that if they introduced “impurities” in the form of CTFE into a non-polar phase of PVDF, the resulting polymer had the ability to switch phases from non-polar to polar, enabling it to store and release much larger amounts of energy with a smaller electric field.
“Essentially we are moving atoms within the material in order to make the polymer rearrange with the least voltage,” Ranjan says. “We believe that we can tailor the atomic structure of the polymer to get the best performance in the presence of different electric fields as well.”
Using the same flaky material found in your everyday pencil — graphite — a research team from Northwestern University has developed a new type of superstrong, superthin paper that could be used as a hydrogen storage material in fuel cells, protective coating, chemical filter or an electrode in batteries. The researchers assembled particles of graphene oxide into very thin sheets by plunging them into specially treated water that caused them to bind into a paperlike layer.
The new sheets are highly flexible and stronger even than those made of carbon nanotube — making them ideal candidates for a new generation of composite materials — according to Rodney Ruoff, the lead scientist on the project. Unlike carbon nanotubes, they are also cheap and easy to fabricate. "The future is particularly bright because the system is very flexible ... The chemistry is almost infinite," he said.
The only significant downside to this paper is its vulnerability to water. Though the sheets remain stable when exposed to air, immersing them in water causes them to come apart as a result of the loosening of the graphene bonds. This, says Rice University materials scientist Boris Yakobson, could be a concern for sheets left out in the environment for long periods of time. The team's next step then is to find an alternative to water to use in the manufacturing process.
It's a shame we won't be able to take advantage of this new paper any time soon: Ruoff predicts that perfecting the technology and commercializing it will likely take at least another 5 to 10 years.
A new paperlike material could lead to novel types of light and flexible materials.
By Prachi Patel-Predd
Using graphite--the black flaky stuff employed in pencils--researchers at Northwestern University have created a strong, flexible, and lightweight paperlike material. It could be used as electrolytes or hydrogen storage materials in fuel cells, electrodes in supercapacitors and batteries, and super-thin chemical filters. It could also be mixed with polymers or metals to make materials for use in aircraft fuselages, cars, and buildings.
The new material is made of overlapping layers of graphene, one-atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms arranged in honeycomb-like hexagons. In contrast, graphite, which becomes powdery under pressure, is made of graphene sheets stacked one on top of the other.
Rodney Ruoff, a Northwestern nanoengineering professor who led the work, published in Nature this week, says that the methods behind making the novel graphene paper could lead to even stronger versions. Right now, water molecules hold together the individual 10-nanometer-thick graphene flakes to create the micrometers-thick graphene paper. By using other chemicals as glues, the researchers could make ultrastrong paperlike materials with various properties. "The future is particularly bright because the system is very flexible ... The chemistry is almost infinite," Ruoff says.
Individual sheets of graphene were not known to exist until three years ago, when Andre Geim, a professor of physics at the University of Manchester, in the UK, used adhesive tape to get a few flakes of graphene from a graphite crystal. Researchers still don't understand all of graphene's properties, but they know that it can conduct electrons extremely well and is known to be exceptionally strong. "Graphene is the toughest material in the world--tougher than diamond," Geim says. But in graphite, the graphene sheets are assembled in such a way that they do not bind strongly to each other. So they simply flake off under friction, creating a pencil's black marks.
Ruoff's idea was to "disassemble graphite into individual layers and reassemble them in a different way than they are in graphite." The goal was to find a way to glue the graphene platelets together while reassembling them, which would create a tough and flexible material.
Since it's hard to separate the graphene sheets in graphite, the researchers first used an acid to oxidize graphite and make graphite oxide. Then they put the graphite oxide in water. Individual graphene-oxide sheets easily separated in water.
When the researchers filtered the suspension, the graphene-oxide flakes settled down on the filter, randomly overlapping with each other. Water glued the flakes together; its hydrogen atoms bonded with the carbon atoms in adjacent flakes. The result was a dark-brown, thin, flexible graphene-oxide paper. By adjusting the concentration of graphite oxide in the water, the researchers changed the thickness of the paper, ranging from 1 to 100 micrometers.
In an effort to develop superstrong lightweight materials, others have used carbon nanotubes. And the new graphene-oxide paper is not as strong as carbon-nanotube films, Geim says. "The advantage of materials made from carbon nanotubes is they're much tougher, because they entangle like spaghetti," he says. "When you're dealing with flat sheets, they entangle very little and are breakable."
But the graphene-oxide paper has other key advantages. Graphite is a cheap raw material, and the filtration method is simple and leads to lots of graphene. Most important, the Northwestern researchers' work opens up a way to manipulate graphene sheets and make paperlike materials with different properties.
When Ruoff and his colleagues oxidize graphene into graphene oxide, for instance, the carbon-based material goes from being an electrical conductor to being an insulator. Ruoff says that he can alter graphene's chemistry in other ways to change its electrical properties and make it an insulator, a conductor, or even a semiconductor.
That electrical versatility combines with an ultrastrong material has some observers excited. "They haven't used any tough glue between the [graphene platelets]," Geim says. "I expect very, very tough materials if a proper glue between graphene is used."