A123 Systems announces breakthrough electric vehicle battery tech

By KBB.com Editors on June 14, 2012 3:18 PM

Although still in the development stage, prominent automotive EV battery maker 123 Systems has created a new Nanophosphate EXT battery technology that's capable of operating at a much wider temperature range without the need for additional and costly external management systems. In contrast to lead acid as well as other types of advanced battery systems, A123 says its Nanophosphate EXT has the designed-in ability to maintain long cycle life at extreme high temperatures and deliver similarly high power outputs at extreme low temperatures.

These exemplary performance claims are the result of testing done at Ohio State University's Center for Automotive Research (CAR) as well as the very low observed rate of aging. According to A123 Systems, these Nanophosphate EXT cells -- which are based on its existing proprietary lithium-ion chemistry -- are expected to retain more than 90 percent of their initial capacity after 2,000 full charge/discharge cycles at 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). As a followup, CAR is currently performing similar tests on the cold side of the spectrum. There, A123 Systems is projecting its Nanophosphate EXT cells will deliver a 20-percent increase in relative power at temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).

"Based on our analysis, the performance of A123's new Nanophosphate EXT at high temperatures is unlike anything we've ever seen from lead acid, lithium ion or any other battery technology," said Dr. Yann Guezennec, senior fellow at CAR and professor of mechanical engineering at the Ohio State University. "Nanophosphate EXT maintains impressive cycle life even at extreme high temperatures without sacrificing storage or energy capabilities, especially as compared with the competitive leading lithium ion technology that we used on our head-to-head testing. If our testing also validates the low-temperature power capabilities that A123's data is showing, we believe Nanophosphate EXT could be a game-changing battery breakthrough for the electrification of transportation, including the emerging micro hybrid vehicle segment."