Axion Power International, Inc. the developer of advanced leadcarbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems, has received a second order for PbC batteries designed to operate in string formation to increase fuel efficiency and decrease emissions in Class 8 trucks retrofitted by privately held Florence, KY-based ePower Engine Systems. (Earlier post.)
PbC batteries use lead-acid technology enhanced by the complete replacement of the typical lead in the negative anode with Axion Power’s proprietary activated carbon material. This allows for simple manufacturing processes and smooth end-of-life recycling.
Although this order is not material from a revenue point of view because it is for a single truck, it is an important step forward for the Class 8 truck fuel-saving program. ePower founder Jay Bowman and crew took the initial Class 8 truck, outfitted with PbC batteries and electronics, for a 1400-mile test drive designed, in his words, “to try and break it.” They drove it hard, at times with a trailer and at times without one. They were happy with the test run, and have been pleased with the results of all the joint testing we have been engaged in, and after this test, decided to move forward and convert the second truck with our PbC batteries. While we will continue to try and improve the fuel savings achieved with the ePower system combined with our batteries, I think this re-order is evidence of ePower’s satisfaction with our PbC product. It also speaks to their commitment to our combined technologies going forward as we progress to the next step—validation in small-fleet application.—Tom Granville, Axion Power International Chairman & CEO
Granville said that the Axion/ePower design is separate and distinct from other Axion trucking product offerings such as APU anti-idling for long-haul truckers who sleep in their cabs, and the dual battery product for hybrid vehicles equipped with stop/start technology.
Axion announced on 20 March 2013 that it had completed its continuous roll carbon sheeting process, and that the newly manufactured sheets were producing higher performance results than those historically manufactured by a manual process. Granville said that the new sheeting process, and the separate improved electrode manufacturing process, were both utilized in producing the PbC batteries employed in the truck and thus, on the endurance drive. Axion feels the implementation of these production improvements is a major contributor to the consistent strong mileage results now being achieved by the ePower truck.