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New Zinc Energy Storage Consortium (ZEST) to Target EVs for Asia

Formed earlier this month, the Zinc Energy Storage Technology (ZEST) Consortium is focused on developing the technology and the market for zinc-based energy storage devices. The Consortium is initially focusing on the electric vehicle market in Asia, with a push for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

The ZEST Consortium inauguration meeting was attended by Canadian zinc manufacturers Noranda and TeckCominco, Mexico’s Penoles; battery manufacturers Electric Fuel Ltd (Arotech), PowerZinc and PowerGenix; and the International Zinc Association and ILZRO. The ZEST Consortium includes additional key zinc suppliers.

Arotech zinc-air technology is already implemented in a zinc-air hybrid bus. (Earlier post.)

In its bid for the 2008 Games, China declared it would host a “Green Olympics.”

In partial support of that claim, China has committed to deploy a fleet of 1,000 environmentally clean buses for the transportation of athletes to and from sporting venues. Furthermore, the Chinese government and the municipal government of Shanghai (site of the Games) are expected to co-operate in the renovating or retrofitting Shanghai’s 18,000 municipal buses.

ZEST Consortium members are bidding to supply at least part of this fleet.

We believe that our zinc air technology for electric transportation has great potential. Rising fuel costs and Electric Fuel’s technology advancements can position our zinc-air system as a real alternative to hydrogen-based fuel cells for clean transportation in Asia. The 2008 Olympic Games would offer all of the members of the ZEST Consortium, including Electric Fuel, an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate to the entire world the present-day capabilities of clean, zinc-air transportation, as exemplified by our electric bus.

Robert Ehrlich, Arotech Chairman and CEO

Arotech’s prototype zinc-air hybrid bus uses Arotech’s zinc-air fuel cells as the primary power source combined with a pack of ultracapacitors recharged through regenerative braking for boosting acceleration.

The bus, which uses a General Electric 200 hp liquid-cooled induction motor, has a range of 133 miles on a simulated city-cycle drive.

The Arotech zinc-air fuel cell modules contain 47 individual air-breathing zinc-air cells connected in series. The bus carries three trays of 6 modules each, for a combined on-board energy capacity of 312 kWh.


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