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EnerDel Signs Letter of Intent to Supply Lithium-Ion Batteries to Fisker Automotive; Inaugurates New Manufacturing Line

Enerdel produces both high energy systems for EVs and PHEVs (left) using a hard carbon/mixed oxide chemistry and high power systems for hybrids (right) using a LTO/LMO chemistry. Source: EnerDel. Click to enlarge.

EnerDel and Fisker, the independent American carmaker developing a line of plug-in vehicles for the global market, have signed a letter of intent for a potential long-term battery supply agreement. Results of reliability and performance testing will determine a final contract. The Fisker Karma is scheduled to be the first OEM plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) on the US market in June 2010.

Fisker currently plans to build 15,000 vehicles per year and market them through an existing network of 32 US retailers. A European retail network will be announced in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

Fisker had earlier said it would use lithium-ion batteries developed by Quantum’s strategic alliance partner Advanced Lithium Power Ltd. (ALP) (Earlier post.)

EnerDel currently produces two primary types of Li-ion cells:

  • High power cells targeted at hybrids, using a Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO)/Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO) chemistry. The LTO/LMO combination is a very safe and long lasting chemistry, with more than 100C pulse power capability and excellent cold cranking capabilities. The cells have a lower energy density and lower cell voltage compared to cells with a graphite anode.

    EnerDel is producing both a 1.8 Ah CD-size cell (3.6V) and a 5 Ah A5-size cell (3.6V).

  • High energy cells, targeted at plug-ins and EVs, using a Hard (Amorphous) Carbon (HC)/mixed oxide (NMC) chemistry. Nominal capacity of the cells is 20 Ah, at a nominal voltage of 3.7V. (max voltage is 4.2V, min is 2.7V). The stacked electrode design enables an energy density of more than 150 kWh/kg.

The announcement came in conjunction with EnerDel’s commissioning of the US’ first commercial-scale production line for lithium-ion automotive battery packs at its plant in Indiana on Friday. EnerDel plans to expand both cell manufacturing capacity at the Indianapolis plant and pack assembly capacity at the company’s Noblesville facility. Further expansion is under consideration through purchase or construction of a third factory.

Future anticipated annual production capacity would involve creating the ability to produce up to 1,500,000 hybrid packs, or 600,000 plug-in hybrid systems, or 150,000 packs for pure electrics, or some combination thereof depending upon the company’s customer portfolio. EnerDel expects to employee a total of 3,000 people once full target capacity is achieved.

Separately, Khalil Amine, Ilias Belharouak and Zonghai Chen at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory won an Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for their development of the LTO system, which was transferred to EnerDel.

When combined with a lithium manganese spinel, LTO provides the highest power ever reported in a Li-ion battery, excellent cycle-life and unmatched safety performance when compared with other Li-ion battery technologies. Moreover, a battery based on this system won’t overheat during high-rate cycling and easily achieves 5-kilowatt cold cranking at minus-30 degrees Celsius.

—Dr. Khalil Amine

Essential for the transfer of technology to EnerDel was Argonne researchers’ ability to meet the company’s commercialization goals within the unprecedented time span of only one year, said Jeff Chamberlain, a senior account manager in Argonne's Office of Technology Transfer. “The market realities facing EnerDel when it decided to work with Argonne were such that if it could not commercialize a Li-ion battery within two years, it might as well not bother since the market opportunities could have evaporated due to domination of the emerging marketplace by established HEV battery makers and their new Li-on battery offerings.”

Argonne worked with EnerDel to develop the technology under a Work-for-Others agreement. The DOE Vehicle Technologies Program provides funding for battery research and development at Argonne.




15,000 per year. They really are dreaming. The Karma is an Absolutely beautiful car. But at 100Kplus you will be lucky to sell 500.

Alex, Tunbridge Wells

At 150Wh/kg, assuming a good number of charge cycles, this battery should sell. It seems each battery is about 70 Wh, or 0.5kg, and a descent small plug in will need about 140 of them.


Tesla took orders for 1000 in a short time at $100k+. The Karma is $80k and has range like a regular car. Fisker has a good product and seems to have managed the process well.


Fisker may very well have a good product, but even at 80K, it's twice the high end of what I could afford for an auto.


Volume production is not the idea. When break even might be 500 units per year and you can sell 2000, no problem. A Bentley sells for well over $100k and they sell enough of those to stay in business.


"Volume production is not the idea"

Then I guess they are not part of the solution then, now are they.


"Then I guess they are not part of the solution then, now are they."

I am confused about this "solution" of which you speak. What is the solution and how does one become a part of it?

You seem to be confused about the point of corporations in the US in modern times - profit. That is the only solution for them. Some of the leaders in some companies may have a bit of a conscience and seek to earn profit in what they feel is a "responsible" way. Others only do the minimum to meet government guidelines. NO company goes forth with some "higher purpose" and no desire to make any profit unless they are a "non-profit" organization, and these are not self-sustaining as they live off of contributions from donors.


Oh gee, Joseph T says that you can only sell 500 and he is such a friggin genius. I mean his diatribe on the evils of Algore (just like limbaugh tells him to say it) and global warming has me convinced. PUTZ

Way to go Fisker, I hope you sell 5,000 of them and become an advanced transportation leader. Innovators are always attacked by the small brains.

I am going on to their website and putting down a deposit for one. They will probably go up in value after they are on the market for a year or so and people see how great they work.


You could sell 500 thousand hybrids that get twice the mileage every year for ten years and not reduce imported oil as much as E10. The solution comes in many forms.


Ethanol blends are already present in two-
thirds of the US gas supply.
At this point I could ask either 'how much more of a reduction could you get by just making E10 mandatory everywhere?' or 'seeing as how 2/3 of the country already uses ethanol, why not also sell those hybrids?'


You raise an interesting question, so let's look at some potentially interesting numbers:

- Let's take a real world example: Honda Civic

- The comparably priced Civic Hybrid with their best apples to apples "other" Civic...the EX-L w/ 5speed AT (honda Web site and look at their own comparison) -> $2000 premium for the Hybrid

-We spend $10Billion a year subsidising ethanol

- That $10B would pay for 5 million hybrid drive train "premiums" per year

- The combined MPG goes from 29mpg to 42mpg -> a 45% increase

There will be about 10 million cars sold in the US this year so this is approximately half the US car sales for 2009.

You suggest doing this for 10 years so you have approximately 50 million hybrid vehicles on the road or about 20% of the total US fleet.

20%x45% = 9% reduction in US petroleum use.

E10 reduces US petroleum by about 6.5%
(lower energy content/mileage than straight gasoline so it's not really 10%)

I'm all for Ethanol because it does reduce petroleum. So quit subsidising it, let the Brazilians sell their cheap ethanol here and if local ethanol can compete, then great. I'd much rather give Brazil that money than Saudi Arabia or Iran. If domestic ethanol is worth a damn, they'll learn to compete.

If we did this and went to E10 or even E15...then we have a chance to reduce foreign oil by 15%-20% Easily.

Be more aggressive and put even $25billion into the hybrid program to make all cars hybrid moving forward and even pay cash for clunkers for the worst offenders out there and I bet we could reduce it closer to 30-40% in that time frame. Hey, compare that to the $hundreds of Billions we send to petroleum producing countries and the damage that does to our economy! It's a CHEAP solution guys.


I have nothing against E10 AND hybrids, I was merely pointing out that hybrids are not the ONLY way to reduce oil imports. I make no claims in support of subsidies, but I do say that we should get on with cellulose biofuels ASAP.


"We spend $10Billion a year subsidising ethanol"

You spend a lot more subsidising oil.



Back when gasoline first hit $5/gal they did a study and found that Americans were ACTUALLY paying $15/gal.


BTW - it's not subsidies I object to, all energy industries[and many others] get subsidies. What I object to is that something so harmfull gets subsidies. It's like subsidising pimps and drug pushers.


LTO/LMO is the best battery electrode chemistry at the moment.

The benefits are

Fast recharge (in minutes not hours)
Excellent safety (no SEI layer)
Wide temperature range (+ 100 - -50 Celsius)
Long life

In plug in electric cars the rapid recharging is a must.. Nobody wants to wait hours in the gas station cafe to wait for recharging.. it has to happen in couple of minutes and with LTO/LMO this is possible.

Congratulations Enerdel and Fisker! There is a good chance that Enerdel will get more deals like this in near future.


@ai vin

I completely agree with you about the subsidies on oil. They are well hidden, but they are clearly there.
However, I'm looking for practical ways that might be implemented to move forward. The US economy is too dependent on that oil, the oil lobby is too strong and US politicians (ok, all politicians) are too gutless to do the right thing.
So, knowing that nobody is going to touch that, what can we do to start chipping away at the problem today?

I think it would be a huge step to start pushing more hybrids and ANYTHING that decreases our use of oil. I just happen to think that PHEV's will put the biggest dent in the problem in the short and medium term.

They are well understood now (prus, insight, Volt, etc) and I would rather subsidize the cost for those than more ethanol. Simply allow cheap ethanol from places like Brazil to offset the petroleum instead. If US ethanol can compete on equal footing and no tariffs on Brazil, etc...then good for them.



I agree with you. Switching from imported fossil fuel to local or imported Ethanol made with edible stocks is not an acceptable solution.

Reducing liquid fuel consumption with HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs is a much better and cleaner solution.

Limited biofuel production from wastes, cellulose, CO2 and NG may be an acceptable short term gap filler solution.

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