A123 says it has a "breakthrough" battery technology in Nanophosphate EXT
What does “Nanophosphate EXT” sound like to you? If you’re David Vieau, the CEO of A123 Systems, releasing a PR statement, it’s “a game-changing breakthrough that overcomes one of the key limitations of lead acid, standard lithium ion and other advanced batteries.” If you’re Vieau talking to the New York Times, it’s “a hedge against the market for electric vehicles.”
A123 has had its ups and down recently, losing its main line of credit but also hiring 400 in Michigan. Yesterday’s announcement that the company’s Nanophosphate EXT, a better lithium-ion technology, can handle “extreme temperatures without requiring thermal management” sure seems like a boon for electric vehicles. A123 supplies the cells for the Fisker Karma and the upcoming all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark but, as Vieau told the Times, the reality is that plug-in vehicle demand has “been softer than we and everyone else expected.”
That’s why Nanophosphate EXT is being billed as a solution for electric vehicles as well as the telecommunication industry, specifically, in “cell tower sites built off-grid or in regions with unstable power.” A123 is not giving up on EVs, of course, suggesting in a release that Nanophosphate EXT technology could find its way into “electric and micro hybrid commercial and passenger vehicles.” The most interesting potential here would allow “automakers to significantly reduce or completely eliminate active cooling systems in electric vehicle battery packs.” A123 says it will start making batteries that use Nanophosphate EXT technology in volume in the first half of 2013. You can find more information from A123 here.