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CALSTART to evaluate Navitas Systems’ military-grade Li-ion 6T batteries in Class 8 highway trucks
22 May 2013
Navitas Systems LLC, which earlier this year acquired substantially all of the assets of bankrupt A123 Systems’ former Ann Arbor, Michigan-based government business, including US military contracts, has signed a contract to supply prototypes of its upcoming 6T lithium-ion battery (earlier post) for use by CALSTART in assessing the efficacy of this advanced battery in hot and cold weather testing on Class 8 highway trucks.
The 6T battery is commonly used in military vehicles, and to-date has been based on lead-acid chemistry. The Navitas 6T prototype batteries embody the same physical form factor, but utilize advanced lithium iron phosphate chemistry, offering greater cycle and calendar life, discharge runtime, charge acceptance rate and amp-hour throughput over life, all at half the weight of lead acid.
[Saft was recently awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin for delivery of e6T Li-ion battery systems for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Program. (Earlier post.]
CALSTART is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of an advanced transportation technologies industry. One of CALSTART’s programs, the High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum (HTUF) program, was developed in partnership with the US Army National Automotive Center (NAC). HTUF is a national program operated by CALSTART in partnership with and under contract tot he US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center(TARDEC) National Automotive Center.
TARDEC recently announced an award to CALSTART for the testing of three advanced lithium chemistry batteries on commercial trucks. This program will help assess the potential of lithium chemistries, specifically to apply recent advances in lithium-ion anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separator battery materials to electrode, cell and pack designs in order to develop 12V and 24V 6T form-factor military-vehicle batteries with significantly improved power and energy densities over existing lead acid alternatives.
The effort focuses on the development of current commercial Lithium-ion battery technologies (Gen 1) of the three competing sub-electrochemistries from three domestic manufacturers into military 6T form-factor battery packs for evaluation by integrating into both commercial and military trucking fleets for performance testing and field data collection.
The field-testing activities are designed so that the prototype battery technology can achieve a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) level 6.
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