Team TAISAN and Power Japan Plus form partnership to develop electric go-kart powered by Ryden Dual Carbon Battery
16 June 2014
Racing group Team TAISAN and materials engineer Power Japan Plus—a company that is commercializing a dual carbon battery technology (earlier post)—have formed a partnership to develop an electric racing vehicle, which will be the first to use the Ryden dual carbon battery.
Under this partnership, Power Japan Plus will provide Ryden cells and Team TAISAN will leverage its international racing experience to optimize the battery and develop a battery pack and management circuit. A go-kart powered by the Ryden dual carbon battery will begin test driving August of this year.
The basic concept of dual-carbon (also called dual-graphite) batteries is that lithium ions from the electrolyte are inserted/deposited into/on the anode (negative electrode), while the corresponding electrolyte anions are intercalated into the cathode (positive electrode). Both electrodes are carbon (e.g., graphite). During discharge, both anions and lithium ions are released back into the electrolyte. The electrolyte in such a system thus not only acts as charge carrier, but also as the active material.
Power Japan Plus says that its dual-carbon battery offers an energy density comparable to lithium-ion batteries; charges 20 times faster than lithium-ion batteries; is rated for more than 3,000 cycles; and can slot directly into existing manufacturing processes, requiring no change to existing manufacturing lines. The ability to charge the battery so rapidly could, the company proposes, enable longer-range electric vehicles, as regenerative breaking will be more efficient.
In addition, the Ryden cell is resistant to heating during operation, mitigating the threat of thermal runway and yielding a simpler battery pack cooling system.
Team TAISAN has faced many roadblocks with conventional battery technology, the danger of thermal runaway being the most prevalent. Intense heating prevented other electric vehicle (EV) racing cars used by TAISAN from running continuously.
We have faced a number of issues with electric vehicle batteries up until now. The Ryden battery from Power Japan Plus is the solution we have been searching for. We will first develop a battery capable of withstanding the rigorous demands of racing, before advancing the technology for use in commercial applications.—Yasutsune Chiba, owner of Team TAISAN
Development will start with a go-kart powered by the Ryden dual carbon battery, which will undergo endurance testing in summer heat conditions this August. The team will then build a full scale EV racing car driven by a Ryden battery pack. Team TAISAN will conduct endurance and safety tests on the electric racing vehicle at its facilities in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, with a goal for the vehicle to debut in a Japanese EV racing competition.
Established in 1983, Team TAISAN is recognized as one of Japan’s most prestigious racing teams, with 72 victories. Among these victories, Team TAISAN has won 13 Japanese national racing championships—eight during the last 20 years—at the All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC) / Super GT (SGT). The team has also won six overseas championships, including The 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GT class in its very first attempt, going on to complete the race a total of six times.
The team has also been actively involved in EV endurance racing in Japan. Team TAISAN was an early adopter of the Tesla Roadster, champion at the 2011 ALL JAPAN EV-GP SERIES, as well as the modified EV Porsche 916 model, which completed four, one-hour endurance races hosted by the EV Club, with third place honors in the lead-based battery class.
The partnership was announced publicly prior to the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race this past Saturday.
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