Axeon Holdings plc, a Scottish company which provides green energy and advanced control systems to the automotive and industrial markets, has won its first contract to develop a lithium-ion battery pack for a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) program.
The contract is to develop a 2kW li-ion battery pack for a major European heavy duty vehicle machinery manufacturer. Two prototype packs are planned to be delivered during the early part of Q2 for customer evaluation and demonstration.
Axeon provides battery solutions using a range of chemistries. In November 2006, the company received a £1.3-million (US$1.7-million) order to supply electrical vehicle manufacturer Modec with the first 50 Sodium Nickel Chloride battery packs for its new light-duty commercial zero-emission vehicle. (Earlier post.) Axeon is also developing li-ion systems for Modec.
In February 2006, Axeon acquired another Scottish company, Advanced Batteries (ABL)—a designer and manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion batteries—the better to address the developing market for alternative power sources for electric (EV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles. (ABL operated as MPower.) (Earlier post.)
During 2006 Axeon built its capability and customer pipeline in the field of electric vehicle (EV) li-ion battery packs and battery management systems (BMS).
This contract win is an important step forward for the Company. The requirements of HEV battery packs are quite distinct from those of pure EV’s. EV battery packs are designed with a high storage capacity relative to current flow (charge/discharge rate). HEV battery packs are designed and configured the other way round with a small storage capacity relative to current flow. This makes the requirements of cells within the battery and the battery management electronics materially different.
We have also been investing heavily in developing the cell supplier relationships and technical skills to be able to provide HEV Li-ion cell and BMS battery pack capability. This development contract award is the first recognition of that effort. The general concerns over global warming are resulting in an increasing number of vehicle manufacturers evaluating HEV and EV alternatives. We expect the number of opportunities and prototyping programs to expand during 2007.—Hamish Grant, Axeon CEO