|The LTC PHEV pack for the Prius. Click to enlarge.|
Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) has retrofit a Toyota Prius to a plug-in hybrid using a battery pack based on LTC’s new product line of large-format lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) cells, the largest cells of their kind in the world. (Earlier post.) The LTC battery pack replaces the OEM pack.
The 7 kWh battery pack, comprising 63 of LTC’s 3.2V, 35Ah iron phosphate cells, could support fuel economy of up to 125 miles per gallon, the company extrapolated, based on the performance of a smaller 2.2 kWh li-ion pack used in the Zytek smart for four conversion in the UK. (Earlier post.)
The large-format technology allows the use of a significantly lower number of cells. This enables greater precision in monitoring of the cells by the battery management system (BMS) to keep cells in balance for best performance and preventing damage to the battery due to over-voltage, under-voltage, over-temperature and short-circuit, according to the company.
LTC cells use LiFePO4 licensed technology, developed by Prof. John Goodenough with the University of Texas and supplied by Phostech.
|The LTC Prius PHEV.|
LTC decided to build the prototype itself based on interest it was hearing in the US market about plug-in hybrids, according to Dr. Klaus Brandt, the company’s CEO. The next step for LTC will be to gather operational data on the Prius PHEV.
LTC provides li-ion systems for a range of sectors, including automotive and military. At the event at which LTC unveiled the plug-in pack, the company also showcased one of the LTC-powered xBot Remote Operated Vehicles used to explore the RMS TITANIC.