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Lithium Technology Corporation Introduces New Line of Large-Format Lithium Iron Phosphate Cells for Auto Industry

14 May 2007

Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) has introduced a new product line of large-format lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells, the largest cells of their kind in the world. LTC is targeting these directly toward the automotive industry for use in electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

LTC’s new product line offers cells ranging from 6 Ah to 35 Ah. The company will provide more details at an event on 23 May in New York City.

Batteries made of LTC’s cells can provide 3,000 charging cycles, which would be able to do 150,000 miles to 80% capacity for a 100 km or 60 mile all electric range plug in hybrid, which no other technology can claim. The new cells from LTC provide improved safety with the iron phosphate chemistry while delivering the impeccable performance they are known for, which is what the auto makers have been in search of; this is a Company that is seriously committed to making hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles an affordable reality for the consumer.

—Dr. Andrew Frank, Professor, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the University of California, Davis

LTC’s large format technology allows for the development of battery systems with a significantly lower number of cells. The weight of the battery is decreased while performance and safety monitoring capabilities are increased, according to the company.

The battery management system (BMS) is more precise monitoring fewer cells, keeping them in balance for best performance and preventing damage to the battery due to over voltage, under voltage, over temperature and short circuit.

LTC has focused solely on the development and production of large format lithium-ion batteries for more than twenty years. The company licensed its LiFePO4 technology developed by Prof. John Goodenough with the University of Texas and supplied by Phostech.

LTC manufactures the GAIA product line of large, high-power hermetically sealed rechargeable lithium-ion cells and batteries.

May 14, 2007 in Batteries, Electric (Battery), Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

This may be what the DR. ordered. The first company to ramp up to
an economy of scale in low cost and mass production will
have a clear advantage in the EV an PHEV vehicle marketplace.
Hope this rush to market doesn't leave other competeing Li-ion
battery technology behind like A123 and the others.

Awesome - that is all I can say 3000 cycles....this is great stuff. No word on price though...

Company is PinkSheeted with little info. Anyone? Curious about expo in NYC, the stats vs reality/reliability on May 23rd. Does not mention where.

January news release cites improved gas mileage 36/38mpg Chevy Equinox in event sponsored by GM and DOE.
http://www.lithiumtech.com/pr12207.htm

Company behind the company...
http://www.phostechlithium.com/company/index.asp

A DOD related effort too in the background.

The Profs cited in research;
http://www.me.utexas.edu/faculty/people/goodenough.shtml
http://mae.engr.ucdavis.edu/faculty/frank/frank.html

Hope this is a true breakthru with serious commercial production quality and lower cost.

Doctor Frank's endorsement is quite significant, given the many years of work on electric hybrid vehicles he has done. I bet he had access to some production samples.

Would be great to see these batteries readily available for common folk as well as industries. There are electric bike enthusiasts who have been buying power-tool batteries and converting to power the vehicle. I'm using good old SLA's on my bike (lead acid). Sadly they're not really that good: 950 miles and I'm looking for a new 38 lbs. set of four.

Bring on the (new) batteries!

Hate to sound sceptical on good news like this. However, the 3000 cycles claimed in the announcement is not what the cell specifications say on their website http://www.lithiumtech.com/StandardCells.html. It says:
“Cycle life at 20°C and 100% DOD 400 cycles to 80% nominal capacity
(0.5 C charge; 0.5 C discharge) 1000 cycles to 60% nominal capacity”

Henrik,
My my, look at that. 400 cycles and 1000 cycles! Oh wait, those are batteries using LiCoO2 anodes...the article's claims are for a LiFePO4 anode that they JUST acquired the licenses for (hard to have been selling a battery when you just obtained the licensing for the technology).

Patric I hope you are right. I tried to look for chemistry but I can’t find any on their cell specification page. How do you know?

Boy did I mess up. It is the cathode, not the anode.

http://www.lithiumtech.com/Technology.html

Got it. Thank you for making it clear. The chemistry LiFePO4 should also be less expensive than LiCoO2. Cobalt is very pricy. Can’t wait to see the kWh price of this.

If you're looking for reasonable prices you may have to wait a bit Henrik, I've been trying to source complete LiFePO4 systems and the prices have been steep. I'm hoping that you are essentially correct in the long term and that the use of Fe instead of Co brings the prices down. Right now the problem seems to be that the battery packs are all hand built and the companies are still trying to recoup some of their R&D costs.

A few good solid battery technologies that do what they say they do would go a long way toward getting us PHEVs, serial hybrids like the Volt and BEVs. I like the idea of refueling and recharging in your garage. This is why I support CNG (SNG) and plug hybrids. The delivery system to the end user is so convenient. Methane through existing pipes and electrons through existing grids. This would take a lot of production pressure off the gasoline refineries, which allegedly has caused the recent spike in gasoline prices.

Neil,

The difference may lie in that this company has been making large format batteries (the LiCoO2 based) that are as much as 50AH or so. If they can mass produce the LiFePO4 in 50AH units then I'm sure the price will be much lower than what you typically have found.

Basic Li phosphate electrode chemistry was initially developed in Texas University, and then MIT improved the technology and created private off-spin – well known A123. Currently Texas and Hydro Quebec are suing A123 (and vise versa) for patents infringement. Looks like this company is trying to make a use of close to A123 technology to produce their batteries, licensed directly from Texas Univercity.

Any way, good luck to everybody in the battery business.

Well, I just wish they'd stop suing each other and get on with lowering their prices.

Even with lawsuits, this shows a good sign. Multiple companies from around the globe are coming into play and competitors are going after each other and pouring money into research. As ugly as it looks, it is better than Chevez renationalizing private companies and dooming the future of his nation.

Quite a range there, from lawsuits, to competition to politics. Just because no one comments nor disagrees does not mean that they agree with you.

This is a common mistake that some people make, maybe because they like to believe that people are agreeing with their extreme views.

SJC,

Calm down. You seem to take offense easy with people who oppose your opinion, or ask simple questions. I assumed all commenting here are healthy skeptics and independent thinkers. You certainly make your opinions known here, don't you? Do you assume everyone agrees with you? Or that only your opinion is correct? Even though others did not respond? No? Good.

I think progress in societies, advancements in technology are tied together with the flexibility and freedom of political and economic systems, that in turn free individuals and business. Or, stagnation can occur due to political and economic systems. I think the communist systems, old nationalized systems fall flat, stagnate and provide little incentive for progress. Not sure why that is considered extreme.

In Russia, French companies that hire Russian citizens look past all the corruption as cash passes under the table and employees get stiffed. It is routine. And books are cooked all the time. The blackmarket is horrendous. I sent a car part FedEx for less time and money to a friend that would've paid double for 3-6 month delivery of questionable used parts.

The bottom line is good news for America and the West, that new technology is being developed in a hot market due to internal/external pressures and incentives. It shows investments are worth it to more contenders in the market place. Yes, it is "my opinion" that a free market system adapts faster than those governments that nationalize their business and heavily regulate their markets thru oppressive measures, including media, ruled by one man, like Chavez.

Russia is making a similar mistake "in my opinion."

I doubt either will provide incentives to oppose their oil markets. Maybe they'll both fund innovative materials and technology transfer for affordable transport systems, batteries, etc., faster than our open, free-market systems? Maybe they'll both fund the ultimate solution to end dependence on oil? I'm merely pointing out other countries have incentives every bit as corrupt or more so than any organization in our own country. Their incentives go directly against our own. They desire high oil prices and oil dependency. Again, this is just my opinion.

If you think my opinion is extreme and you support Chavez or his policies of natoinalization, by all means, defend it, provide a rebuttal.

I am not so arrogant to stop learning. Nor do I think everyone here agrees with me. Healthy discussions are good for all of us.

If there is one thing we all agree on is the end goal, freedom from oil dependency, affordable solutions, plus clean air and environments.

Yes, we will have Individual cells and chargers available in November. BMS is changing to a VMS (Voltage Management System) with a portion of the cell balancing hardware integrated into the charger to save space and weight in the pack bms.
It is my understanding the new chargers will have a 10 Ah output. Chargers & Cells are priced on this site page: http://www.lifebatt.com/LiFeBATT%20Web_4.html

The cells themselves are 40mm x 140mm and have pre-threaded studs that extend another 22mm at each end. They weigh 1 lb. each and are rated 3.3V/10Ah each. Chargers will also be available - but the VMS may (or may not be) by November. The prototype has been finished and is being tested now. If it passes all our tests, we will manufacture the boards in about 3 weeks, so I expect the VMS to ship by early December at the latest. They will likely be shipped separately and you will have to install them yourself, which is not a problem since you are obviously building your own pack, or having Bob Mc Cree do it for you?

Cheers!

Don Harmon

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