A123Systems today introduced its 32-series Nanophosphate™ Lithium Ion cells, specifically designed for Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) use. These batteries leverage the company’s existing low-cost, high-volume manufacturing techniques to offer the electric drive industry a new level of price-performance.
The 32-series cells are designed with abuse-tolerance in mind. A123Systems’ Automotive Class cells take advantage of lessons learned from the mass-production of ANR26650M1 cells, used in DeWalt’s and Black & Decker's power tool lines, in order to deliver 10+ year and 150,000 mile projected life requirements in engineered automotive battery packs. The cells have shown minimal power degradation and impedance growth after 300,000 cycles. The battery is able to operate at a temperature range of -20 ˚F to 140 ˚F (-29 ˚C to 60 ˚C).
A123Systems’ 32-series lineup is comprised of two cells with custom electrode designs.
- The 32113 M1Ultra high power cells are optimized for use in HEV's. The 32113 is currently designed into A123Systems’ programs with major U.S. and European auto manufacturers.
- The 32157 M1HD cell uses a higher energy electrode design, geared specifically for PHEVs, and offers greater volumetric energy density and the lowest cost per watt-hour. Currently used in a Saturn Vue PHEV development program, the 32157 offers superior calendar and cycle life at high depth-of-discharge (DOD), as well as excellent power density for charge-sustaining operation.
“Our 32-series cells provide high performance and abuse-tolerance unmatched by any other lithium ion battery chemistry,” said David Vieau, president and CEO, A123Systems. “By making it possible for manufacturers to design HEVs and PHEVs with attractive performance, reliability and safety as well as an overall lower systems cost, we are able to play a significant role in speeding the market’s acceptance of highly fuel efficient vehicles.”
The recently introduced a standard battery module that is designed to convert hybrid vehicles to plug-in hybrid vehicles which can be installed by trained mechanics in less than 2 hours.
In January A123 received a $40,000 round of financing, led by GE Commercial Finance and Proctor & Gamble, to scale its technology development and manufacturing capacity for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries.
Although no production date was announced, they should be able to ramp up production by 2009, when it appears the first PHEV's will be available. I expect that we may see some of their HEV batteries before that date. It would be nice if we had some cost projections, but it would be unusual for a company to release cost data to the public at this time in the production cycle. I think this announcement puts A123 ahead of Altair, etc.