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UQM and Altair Nanotechnologies Form Strategic Alliance for Electric Powertrains

UQM Technologies and Altair Nanotechnologies have formed a strategic alliance to pursue opportunities for their complementary electric drive and battery technologies in advanced transportation and other high potential markets.

The alliance pairs UQM’s electric motor, power generator and power electronic products with Altairnano’s NanoSafe lithium-ion battery packs. The two companies are currently collaborating on the development and commercial launch of an all-electric sport utility truck (SUT) for Phoenix Motorcars, Inc., which is being integrated and tested by Boshart Engineering.

Both companies expect that the transportation market will experience rapid technological change resulting in further electrification of vehicles. By collaborating on product development opportunities, both companies can potentially accelerate the commercialization of their proprietary technologies as well as develop optimized solutions that require motive power, on-board energy storage and power generation.

The Phoenix all-electric SUT is powered by a 100 kW UQM electric propulsion system which produces over 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque, accelerates the vehicle from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds, has a top speed of 100 miles per hour and operates at peak system efficiencies of over 94%.

The vehicle’s 35kWh NanoSafe battery pack can be recharged in less than 10 minutes with an appropriate rapid charging station and in a typical fleet duty cycle the vehicle can travel up to 135 miles between charges. The SUT is expected to qualify as a Type III ZEV in California.

UQM Technologies, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of power dense, high efficiency electric motors, generators and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, medical, military and industrial markets. A major emphasis of the Company is developing products for the alternative energy technologies sector including propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, under-the-hood power accessories and other vehicle auxiliaries and distributed power generation applications.

Altairnano is an innovator and supplier of advanced novel, ceramic nanomaterials. The company has developed nanomaterials for the alternative energy, life sciences and performance materials markets based on its proprietary manufacturing process. This process also provides the foundation for its innovative AHP pigment process.



Altair should concentrate on the battery manufacturing side of the business and leave the drivetrain to drivetrain people. They have a potentially game changing battery with awesome energy density, incredible charge times and labproven 30+year lifetime but they cost ?$75000 each? Frankly, I think Johnson Controls or somebody in the battery biz should buy them and work out the manufacturing costs so we can get this game going.


Of all the EV start-ups, I'd say that Phoenix has the best chance of success.


DS: How deep are their pockets? Tesla seems to be very well financed.

greg woulf

I don't think the batteries cost anywhere near $75k. Phoenix paid that for the first 10 packs, but there was a lot more to that deal than just the battery packs.

I don't know how much they do cost to produce, so I won't say a thing about that other than that I think it's lower.

As far as going into a partnership with UQM I'm very excited about that. Altair seems very much to want to produce and sell electric vehicles. I think that electric vehicles will save the world so to speak. Comparatively A123 is making tools and hobbyists packs for high premiums without consideration to the world.

A123 is a profit company first, and that's not going to make a difference in the world unless there is an A123 electric car. Altair on the other hand seems to be car first.

That's just opinion, I don't know any inside info. A123 charges a lot per cell and that they sell to hobbyists and tool companies for a cost that doesn't translate to electric vehicles at all.


Tesla is very well financed and, IMO, has the best chance for success. Altair just looks like a very good take-over target (they have a small market cap, they lose money, and, if they are being honest, possess incredible IP.

I disagree. I would think that the control electronics need to be engineered for a specific battery pack (hence the alliance). That is the only other bottle neck (battery PD and cost being primary) to EVs. I would love to see something open source done in the area of battery management. That would allow hobyists, enthusiasts, and small shops to begin converting ICE powered vehicles to EVs. Every little bit helps...


Well John, you could start the "Open Source" battery management project.

There are textbooks you could reference.

Not sure who is going to have access to the necessary lab equipment to freely do the testing involved...but hey, programming microcontrollers/microprocessors is easy enough. If you fund all the necessary lab equipment for me I'll start bashing away some assembly code and people can mold it as they like for me to then test on the shiny new equipment you provided me with. Heck, I could even charge my company a few thousand on the side to test third party batteries for them so I can provide labor at no charge for the "Open Source" project.

G Kalkas

This alliance, is a great idea. With the company providing the batteries working in tandem with the company making the motor/drive train, hopefully, Phoenix will be able to start shipping the E-SUTs this spring, and on time!

The sooner Altair begins ramping up production of NanoSafe battery packs, the sooner their costs, whatever they are, begin to come down.

Having hundreds of plug-in vehicles on the road this year is a tremendous win for PHEV advocates.

greg woulf

I think this is the better way than Tesla. Don't get me wrong, I love the Tesla and have the roadster as my background.

I think this will win over Tesla, or at the same time because the Tesla has almost no proprietary parts. They have patents on systems, but in all cases those systems already exist in slightly different forms.

The heart of any electric car is the battery. Altair has the control on the most critical part.

The fleet market makes up a niche that's perfect because of the driving range and facilities to charge. Now with the addition of a quality drive train they're positioned to make cars that actually make financial sense first and save the planet second.

Dick Harvey

How come Ford or GM dont seem interested in this battery

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