Best known for its expertise in developing Lithium-ion (Li-ion) electric vehicle battery packs based on conventional cylindrical cells, A123Systems has just released an update on its latest technology which employs a new form of prismatic cells that can be used to create a line of scalable, high-efficiency power modules that can be adapted to all sizes of plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. Speaking at the Department of Energy's Annual Merit Review for the Hydrogen and Vehicle Technologies Programs, A123Systems co-founder Ric Fulop noted that the combination of new anode and unique cell configuration endow these Prismatic designs with a far greater energy density capability at both the cell and pack levels. In addition to being significantly more cost-efficient to operate, Prismatics will deliver a longer service life. The first of these Prismatic designs, a 20 amp-hour energy cell, is expected to go into production within the next year while 4Ah, 6Ah and 8Ah power cells are planned to roll out in the 2011/2012 time window. Beyond ongoing efforts to refine the basic anode and cathode elements, Fulop also told the group that A123Systems is currently working on a new and equally unconventional design for Li-ion cell that would incorporate what he calls a nanocomposite separator, a component which essentially results in "a cell without a separator."