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A123 New Batteries Squeeze More Performance Under Heat and Cold

A123 Systems has developed a lithium Nanophosphate EXT that would keep a more stable charge under different temperature scenario.

A123 Systems has been around for some time and their battery systems have powered some of the best electric cars, EV today. From dragster motorcycles to your local EV, the company has enjoyed a solid reputation and is shaping up to be one of tomorrow’s battery system leader. Their latest breakthrough comes with their Nanophosphate EXT, which means excellent news for electric cars.

Technically Speaking. Temperature difference can drain your battery life quickly. If you ever tried to keep calling an entire day with your cell phone on ski slopes, then you know what I’m talking about. Taking pictures all day long in a hot desert, and your camera’s lithium battery life will sharply drop. The same applies to electric cars. The trick is to either manage the inside temperature so that the battery pack stays at a constant temperature, as most EV makers have opted for or to find a more stable lithium chemistry.

Enters Nanophosphate EXT. Lithium batteries are more or less stable between 46 to 68 F but lose charge incrementally as they get hotter. A123’s Nanophosphate EXT should greatly reduce the loss of charge as well as raise the battery’s life cycle. This also has another benefit for electric carmakers, as well EVs in general, that of potentially dismissing battery pack thermal management in most cases. They should also reduce weight and the holy grail of EVs, reduce the price of battery packs. Nanophosphate EXT should increase the overall performance and reliability of the battery pack while minimizing complexity and reducing total cost of ownership, TCO over the life of the battery system.

One of the drawbacks of standard lithium ion technology and specifically phosphate chemistries is low power at low temperature. Nanophosphate EXT is designed to deliver a 20-30 percent improvement compared to the same capacity battery. This puts it on par with current high performance absorbent glass mat, AGM lead acid batteries. With a capability of 60 and 80Ah, Nanophosphate EXT starter batteries across a range of temperatures.

David Vieau, CEO of A123 Systems said: "We believe Nanophosphate EXT is a game-changing breakthrough that overcomes one of the key limitations of lead acid, standard lithium ion and other advanced batteries. By delivering high power, energy and cycle life capabilities over a wider temperature range, we believe Nanophosphate EXT can reduce or even eliminate the need for costly thermal management systems, which we expect will dramatically enhance the business case for deploying A123's lithium ion battery solutions for a significant number of applications,"

Continuous breakthroughs in lithium and other battery technology gets us closer to longer range and more affordable electric cars. We welcome A123 Systems’ Nanophosphate EXT chemistry’s breakthrough and hope to see it make its way quickly in EVs.