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Valence Ships New Lithium-Ion Batteries as Promised

2 June 2006

Valence Technology is now shipping four recently-introduced models of its Saphion U-Charge Power System large-format lithium-ion batteries as well as a new Battery Management System (U-BMS). (Earlier post.) The U-Charge XP Power Systems are capable of peak power rates of 500 to 1700 continuous watts, depending on the model.

Three of the four new models are conveniently packaged in standard lead-acid sizes and operate at standard lead-acid voltage ranges. The UEV model is a unique size that has a taller profile for tighter footprint compartments and an 18-volt nominal rating.

Each model includes integrated battery monitoring electronics and a communications port to access battery data. As many as 30 of these battery systems can be connected in series for very high voltage applications such as pure electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, marine and power back-up applications.

The U-BMS can be used with 12-volt to 450-volt applications to provide battery-to-battery balancing, battery system monitoring, direct control of external disconnects, and remote battery system control. The U-BMS can communicate with system controllers via either CAN Bus or RS-485 Protocol.

The U-Charge XP models began shipping in May 2006, within the delivery window announced in January. Also announced in January, the U-Charge RT Series, designed for applications such as electric wheelchairs, is on track to ship all models within the next month.

June 2, 2006 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack (1)

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Valence Ships New Lithium-Ion Batteries as Promised - Valence has been developing a very interesting lithium-ion battery meant for vehicle use. The lithium-ion or lithium-poly batteries have been a very promising technology which would make electric vehi [Read More]

Comments

Only twice the run time of same size lead acid.If Qty30 are used, its only 14kWh.Cost?
Well, at least people with scooters and wheelchairs will enjoy the extra range

what's up with A123Systems? No new news on them for some time. From what they are publishing, it is suppose toout perform everything in the market today. 5 minute charge time! .....waiting.

Tony -

please do the math. The kinetic energy of a car weighing 3500 lbs traveling at 60 mph is only about 0.16 kWh. A single UEV model has a nominal energy density of 1.2 kWh. You'll only want to use a fraction of that to extend battery life, but still.

With a series connection of 8 of these batteries plus inverter, cabling and mounts, the weight comes to roughly 300 lbs. At 18V nominal, you can support 144VDC tension and up to 300A current for 43kW of electrical power during the short period of acceleration. Accounting for losses, that would translate to perhaps 35kW where the rubber meets the road.

What is unclear is how much these units will cost. If the hybrid gets 40 MPG average, you drive it for 12000 miles a year and you pay $3.33/gal for gas, you're shelling out $1000 per year for fuel. Assuming that the same model with a regular ICE would get 32 MPG (less efficient but also less weight), then the HEV saves you $200 a year (excl. impact on resale value). Assuming that customers accept an 8-year ROI horizon, a $1600 premium on the purchase price would be acceptable (excl. net present value correction).

Assuming a 10% gross margin target and, that batteries comprise about 50% of the total cost of the hybrid system, you end up with an allowable component cost of just $90 per Saphion UEV-18XP unit. Right now, the hybrid market is hot, i.e. customers are willing to overpay to get one and manufacturers are scrambling to get models into the showrooms, even at zero or slightly negative gross margin. Therefore, perhaps Valence can get away with charging $120 instead for a while, but that won't last for long.

If even that is well below Valence's price range, perhaps a milder hybrid setup with just ~16kW at the terminals (3 units) would make more sense. You'd probably get most of the benefits of a full hybrid at a fraction of the cost.

As I understand it, the phosphate-based chemistry of these lithium batteries doesn't increase volumetric energy density compared to conventional lithium ion cells, but makes them more rugged and durable, less prone to runaway overheating (and so usable in larger sizes, such as these), and potentially less expensive (no cobalt).

The cost is up there.

I was interested in retrofitting an e-max electric scooter with four of the smallest (40 AH) Valence U-Chrge batteries (U-1's) was 864 each plus $300 for teh BMU. The cost would have been close to $4,000. Part of the high cost is that Valence is not interested in small quantity sales or distributing to retailers.

Also, it would take some work to get them to fit - they are less than half the weight but a bit more volume than my existing Guineng Pb-silicone battery pack.

Rafael, as a consumer looking a hybrid I'd also consider part of the premium as the price of a continuous call option on the price of fuel, good (and reusable) for the price of the vehicle.

If I find time some day I'll attempt a Black-Scholes calculation of the option value for a 25% mileage increase, applied continuously for the life of the vehicle ;-)

Try again.

The cost is up there.

I was interested in retrofitting an e-max electric scooter with four of the smallest (40 AH) Valence U-Chrge batteries (U-1's). Valence's quoted cost was $864 each plus $300 for teh BMU. The cost would have been close to $4,000. Part of the high cost is that Valence is not interested in small quantity sales or distributing to retailers.

The larger batteries like the 100 ah U-24, was $2,112 each.

Also, it would take some work to get them to fit - they are less than half the weight but a bit more volume than my existing Guineng Pb-silicone battery pack.


Paul D -

I was referring to OEM sales in large quantities for use in purpose-designed vehicles, not to retrofits.

I think you're being quite pessimistic if you only assume a 20% reduction in fuel consumption.  If you build a 144V battery pack, you're putting about 7 kWh of storage aboard the car.  If you can use 50% of that in PHEV mode at 170 Wh/mile (battery terminals), you'll have up to 20 miles of all-electric range.  That should cut fuel requirements by more like 50%; many people's daily commutes are 20 miles or less!

I think you're being quite pessimistic if you only assume a 20% reduction in fuel consumption.  If you build a 144V battery pack, you're putting about 7 kWh of storage aboard the car.  If you can use 50% of that in PHEV mode at 170 Wh/mile (battery terminals), you'll have up to 20 miles of all-electric range.  That should cut fuel requirements by more like 50%; many people's daily commutes are 20 miles or less!

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