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March 03, 2007



My guess is hybrid.

100% electric works for a typical daily commute and nightly charge - not for a vehicle that does real work an needs to run all day. The only way these are 100% electric is if the chinese are willing to pay a lot of money purely for PR purposes and charge several times a day.

At this point, hybrids for personal transportaion still need ideological motives or government subsidies. But for the stop-and-go profile of garbage or distribution trucks series hybrids are very efficient and probably make sense today for purely economic motives. They still need a bigger upfront investment but have an attractive ROI.

I wonder if at the current and expected rate of improvement in battery technology it actually makes sense to wait a little before purchasing such a fleet. There was a time where if you wanted to buy a compute farm for rendering a major movie it actually made sense to wait a few months and buy higher powered computers at lower prices. Rendering would actually get finished earlier for the same investment.

Kit P.

The first thing to look for in energy related press releases is th e PR gimmick. There it is is: specially designed for the 2008 Olympics Games.


Might be serial plugin hybrid, they wouldn't have to be though. Charging several times a day, every 4 hours at food breaks for instance, in an 18 hour double shift work day is feasible.

Are these quick charge batteries?

Yes they are!

A lunch break would be enough time for recharge.


Very good point DocX. Remember folks... the PLI battery from ABAT is based on Altair's NLTO materials. Going on Kit's words "specially designed for the 2008 Olympic games" one would think that the size of these trucks will be alot smaller to navigate through proccessions and people. If that is true, than I see no reason why these trucks couldn't be BEVs. Have routes set up with 10-15 minutes down time to accomendate charge times. With the pollution China is facing I could see this as being a world PR statement... "We may have high levels of pollution., but this is how we're tackling the problem." There is an initiative within China that is already trying to combat the effects of pollution and energy usage. Some of the "greenest" buildings in the world are in China. Saw a PBS special not too long ago... forgot the name but it's the one with Brad Pitt narrating. Remember what I said before DocX... China will become the #1 economy while taking lead in the alternative solutions. But once again I'm just speculating =)

BTW, found this lil tid bit regaurding the Zap-x...

Inside Greentech speculated Altairnano's batteries were at the heart of the new vehicle recently announced by ZAP, the ZAP-Z (see Look out Tesla... ZAP building electric supercar.) While spokespeople for the companies wouldn't confirm or deny the relationship at the time, Gotcher acknowledged the two have been talking for well over a year.

The plot thickens once again. If you guys missed my other post regarding Altair/Phoenix progress, I'll repost it...


Phoenix Motorcars Signs Deal With Pacific Gas and Electric for All-Electric Vehicles
Wednesday February 28, 12:24 pm ET

Powered by Altairnano's NanoSafe Battery Packs and UQM's Electric Drive Motors

ONTARIO, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--Feb 28, 2007 -- Phoenix Motorcars announced today it received a purchase order for four of its zero-emission, all-electric sport utility trucks (SUTs) from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to be delivered in June. The SUTs, which are powered by UQM Technologies, Inc.'s (AMEX:UQM - News) propulsion system, Boshart Engineering's homologation process and Altairnano's (NasdaqCM:ALTI - News) NanoSafe(TM) 35kWh battery pack, will represent the only series of battery-electric trucks in the PG&E fleet.

Phoenix's SUT can travel at freeway-speeds while carrying five passengers and a full payload. The SUT exceeds all specifications for a Type III ZEV, having a driving range of over 100 miles, can be recharged in less than 10 minutes and has a battery pack with a lifespan of more than 12 years. PG&E plans to place a purchase order for 200 of Phoenix Motorcar's vehicles annually to assist in its daily operation of serving over 70,000 square miles in Central and Northern California.

"PG&E operates the fourth largest alternative-fuel truck fleet in the nation, and we are honored to supply them with a reliable all-electric vehicle to improve their fleet operations," says Daniel J. Elliott, CEO of Phoenix Motorcars. "We want to provide the California-fleet market with high-performance, zero-emission vehicles to reduce costs, improve air quality and protect public health."

The only thing Altair needs now is a gov't order to help bring the costs down... ZEV credits are going to expire soon.

Kit P.

If I am skeptical of PR out if China, PG&E and California in general falls in the same category. If I caught them being honest and providing environmental leadership, I would be surprised.


Hey Kit P...

Why do you show so much negativity in a blog site that's trying to promote something positive??? Maybe you should try and come up with valid points of debate rather than just saying things like... "EVs are just toys for boys" or "If Greg sits in a house that is 100% solar, maybe he can explain why everyone is not doing it." or "What I am really interested in is realistic ideas about how we can get PHEVs to be used."

But I come to realize... "Why ask why?" You have the freedom of speech such as I. So please keep talking =) I'm sure DocX and a few others here are just waiting for your next words to come out!!!


70kwh altairnano battery would power a garbage truck how far? As far as 10 gallons of fuel. So at an everage 10 miles per gallon and 10 miles per hour (these trucks stop a lot)that would be around 100 miles, enough charge for 10 hour shift? And that's an SUV sized battery.

Kit P.

Is it okay to be negative about big a IOU? Why would I be skeptical of a big energy company when they claim to be greed? Just wait till someone claims to be an environmentalists when they put solar panels on their 5000 square foot house. Oh yeah, I can also be very positive about things that work.


Jimmi, my understanding has been that ABAT was in the polymer lithium business way before ALTI got them to produce the nanosafe. Therefore, on what basis do you think the 3000 Chinese vehicles are not standard PLI? And do we know that a polymere nano-lithium has been produced in the first place?

The link provided by Dr X shows that the PLI battery is NOT nano-lithium (contrary to what he says).

Could it be that these vehicles are taking standard lithium batteries, which do not have as much power, but have 3 times more energy than nano-lithium. After all, battery safety in China has an entirely different meaning.


You are right about the PLI battery being around before NLTO came into the picture. There are a few indicators that has lead me to believe that the batteries being used are the nano-material li-ion battery.

From the ABAT website, on the patent page, you'll notice the four categories of PLI type batteries... small capacity, large capacity, mine use and Nanometer. Each with it's different patent. This article didn't state which one so you'd have to guess. Now I must admit...you have to piece this altogether... this is speculation but if you go to their technical line page, and look at their first diagram, you'll notice that the Nanometer material battery (in their minds) was intended for larger applications like electric vehicles and electric machinery.

To answer your question about if a PLI nanometer battery has been produced... on Sept 7, 2006 ABAT used their Nanometer battery on it's first vehicle... an electric scooter. Got that from this blog actually. That scooter has a cycle life of 4000+.

If you look at ABAT's site you'll see that the cycle life of the PLI batteries used in cars and buses have a cycle life of around 500-1000 (>= 700 on a different chart). That's only 2-3 years before you'd have to change the batteries if you recharge everyday as a garbage truck would.

Now this is where the speculation kicks in... if you're China and you're going to buy a bunch of specially designed electric garbage trucks for the Olyimpics for the whole world to see... which battery would you use???

The technology is there. ABAT is proving that with ZAP vehicles... increasing life cycle greatly and driving distance by 300%.

They have alot of NLTO... of their 2.2 metric ton order from Altair... I'm sure they have a good amount left to accomondate the garbage truck order.

Maybe I'm just too optimistic or maybe I've pieced things together from years of reading reports, articles, and press releases. Hopefully we'll get some stats on these garbage trucks to satisfy our curiousity.


And I forgot to mention. This is from the original article...


According to BGTDC, these all-electric sanitation trucks will be showcased for the 2008 Olympics Games by the Beijing Olympics Committee and will feature a permanent magnetic brushless DC motor, powered by the Company's proprietary PLI battery cells.

Mr. Zhiguo Fu, Chairman of Advance Battery Technologies, commented that, "This contract is not only economically significant for our Company, but also shall help create public awareness of this sector of our proprietary battery technology and its applications within the heavy vehicle market."


So we know now that it is a pure electric vehicle. And if you are going to "showcase" these garbage trucks and want to "help create public awareness of this sector of our propietery battery technology"... which battery would you use???


Actually scratch that... I now doubt these are the Nanometers... not at $3.333 a piece. ABAT is a battery manufacturer and can keep costs alot lower than Altair can. But that would be one cheap nano li-ion battery. Even considering possible discounts for the size of the order... and considering the premium discount they might be offering to showcase their technology on the worlds stage. Not at $3,333 a piece. Or maybe they can?


Good stuff. It is interesting to read comments. Thank.

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