Friday, May 18, 2007

The road to EV future: news on batteries

Recently a couple of news pointed to a strong possibility of real-life EV’s in the next years. Mitsubishi and GS Yuasa Corporation formed a new joint venture company to develop and build large format lithium ion batteries for automotive applications. The cooperative effort will kick off with an investment of about $30 million to install equipment at Yuasa's main plant to produce up to 200,000 lithium cells annually. Key-words here: large format; “to produce”; and of course 200,000. This will be the foundation for the manufacturing of the Mitsubishi i-EV, rumoured to be one of the first real-life electric vehicle available in 2010.

Another company, battery supplier A123 Systems, has unveiled two new batteries specifically optimized for
automotive applications. One of the new cells is configured for high power applications in regular hybrid configurations while the other is designed for higher energy capacity for plug-in hybrid vehicles. The relevance of this news bit: A123 offers batteries that are for real, being already sold and tested in commercial applications (cordless tools and backup systems). This gives credibility to their promises of commercially available batteries for automotive applications: hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

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