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Cobasys and Panasonic Expand Relationship for NiMH Batteries

Cobasys and Panasonic EV Energy (PEVE), a joint venture between Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Toyota, have expanded the license terms between them for NiMH battery systems for electric vehicles.

The expanded rights will permit PEVE to solicit and sell Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery products for certain North American transportation applications. In return, Cobasys will receive royalties on PEVE North American sales of NiMH battery products through 2014.

Under the terms of the expanded agreement, Cobasys and PEVE will continue to cross license each other for current and future patents through 2014.

They will also maintain their technical cooperation to advance NiMH technology products and continue their joint development for the next generation of high-performance NiMH battery products for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The parties have also agreed to evaluate the feasibility of assembling PEVE battery packs at the Cobasys Springboro, Ohio, manufacturing facility.

Cobasys is a joint venture between designs and manufactures advanced Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery system solutions for transportation markets, including HEV, Electric Vehicles (EV) and 42 volt applications, in addition to Stationary Back-Up power supply systems for Uninterruptible Power Supply systems (UPS), Telecom and Distributed Generation requirements.

Cobasys is a joint venture between Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Energy Conversion Devices.


John Norris

It's stuff like this that makes me question patent laws. Especially when Chevron is the ultimate patent owner (as in this case). Does anyone have a similar lock on lithium-ion technology? Or is lithium-ion "open-source"?

- John



Rent Who Killed the Electric Car?



Rent Who Killed the Electric Car?



January 4, 1998 -- Ovonic nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) were featured at the North American International Auto Show being held in Cobo Center as part of the General Motors (GM) Advanced Technology Vehicles presentation to the worldwide media at the preview opening of the show today. Important product announcements from GM included the introduction of GM Ovonic NiMH batteries in the current EV1 production EV and production of HEVs by 2001. GM Ovonic NiMH batteries are manufactured by the GM Ovonic L.L.C. joint venture between Ovonic Battery Company (Ovonic), a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD), and GM.

The EV1 equipped with GM Ovonic NiMH batteries will offer drivers more than 160 miles of driving range on a single charge in real-world driving conditions. GM's exhibit featured both series HEVs (driven by an electric motor only) and parallel HEVs (driven by both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine) equipped with GM Ovonic NiMH batteries, as well as other advanced technology vehicles. The HEV batteries were developed by Ovonic as part of its "Family of Batteries" program, aimed at providing a full range of Ovonic NiMH batteries for EVs and HEVs. These batteries have the unique advantage of both high specific energy and high power to provide excellent driving range with outstanding acceleration.

GM's series hybrid (using an electric motor to drive the front wheels) uses a compact micro-gas turbine generator system to charge the GM Ovonic NiMH HEV battery pack while driving, which provides an effective fuel economy of nearly 100 miles per gallon (MPG) of reformulated gasoline! This is based on GM's anticipation that the series hybrid owner will plug the vehicle in overnight while parked in the garage (grid charging), leaving in the morning with the HEV batteries fully charged. Operating as an HEV only (no grid charging), the hybrid obtains 60 MPG highway and provides a 350-mile driving range. When the generator is running, tailpipe emissions are one-half of California's stringent ultra-low emission levels (ULEV). The very high power-to-energy ratio GM Ovonic NiMH battery provides ample power for acceleration (zero to 60 MPH in nine seconds) and offers a zero-emission, EV-only, driving range of 40 miles, significantly more than other HEV battery types can provide.

GM also showed a parallel hybrid using an Isuzu direct-injection turbo-charged diesel engine and GM Ovonic NiMH batteries (front wheels driven by the electric motor, and rear wheels driven by the diesel engine). This parallel hybrid is an all-wheel drive car with four-wheel regenerative braking to charge the battery when braking or decelerating. Both environmentally-friendly and fast (zero to 60 MPH in seven seconds), the parallel hybrid has a range of 550 miles and obtains 80 MPG highway using diesel fuel. The relatively small displacement diesel engine produces "big engine" performance when coupled with the electric drive powered by the high power-to-energy ratio GM Ovonic NiMH batteries, with a significant reduction in exhaust emissions, including CO2, a non-regulated greenhouse gas.

Mr. Robert C. Purcell, GM's executive director of Advanced Technology Vehicles (GMATV), outlined GM's strategy to lower the cost of electric vehicles. GM expects future EV costs to be competitive with conventional internal combustion engine powered vehicles. In addition to component and drivetrain cost reductions, Mr. Purcell noted that the Ovonic Family of Batteries was a key part of the overall cost reduction strategy and would occur in three phases:

Phase I
· GMO-1 battery currently in production.

Phase II
· GMO-2 battery enters production during the third quarter of 1998; first usage in S-10 EV, followed by EV1.

Phase III
· GMO-3 battery with higher specific energy and power will be equivalent in cost (battery pack plus electricity to recharge) to the life-cycle fuel cost for internal combustion engine powered vehicle.

In November 1997, GM introduced the Chevrolet S-10 electric pick-up truck with GM Ovonic NiMH batteries to the commercial fleet market. Several electric utilities are currently operating these trucks and are reporting more than two times the driving range on a single charge, compared to S-10 EVs equipped with lead-acid EV batteries.

The GM Ovonic NiMH batteries for EVs and HEVs will be available to other vehicle manufacturers. The battery, in various sizes, is suitable for EVs and HEVs from bicycles and scooters to cars, trucks and buses. A robust, long-life, maintenance-free battery, the GM Ovonic NiMH battery is expected to last the life of the vehicle (rated at 100,000 miles in an electric car).

In his remarks at the opening press conference, GM Chairman, President and CEO, Mr. John F. Smith, said, "No car company will be able to thrive in the 21st century if it relies solely on internal combustion engines." Mr. Smith further noted that, "No clearly superior alternate technology to conventional gasoline engines is available today … but there are several technologies emerging that have very high potential." ECD and Ovonic are proud that the Ovonic NiMH battery technology can make EVs and HEVs practical, environmentally-friendly alternates to today's vehicles.

Web Designer

How could the patent laws hold up for Chevron when the patent itself negatively affects the wellfare of the people. As a case with Steve Jobs Apple computer GUI vs. Bill Gates clone of the operating system GUI. Bill won the case because the operating system GUI was deemed good for the people.

This is the same case with Chevrons patent on the NIMH batteries. The patent isn't the real issue here, the issue is something else.

Edward Son

entered into a strategic relationship and an agreement with China-based Amperex Technologies Ltd. (ATL) to expand the use of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries targeted at consumer electronics and automotive applications.Ovulation Cal Website

Edward Son

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