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Valence Expands Lithium-Ion Lineup

Valence Technology has announced eight new models of its large-format lithium-ion batteries based on its proprietary Saphion technology. (EDrive Systems uses Valence Saphion batteries in their plug-in Prius conversions. (Earlier post.)

Four new U-Charge XP Power Systems are capable of peak power rates of 500 to 1,700 continuous watts, depending on the model. Each of the four new models integrate battery monitoring electronics with an communications port and as many as 30 of these battery systems can be connected in series for very high voltage applications, such as pure electric vehicles, series-hybrid electric vehicles and power back-up.

Four new U-Charge RT Power Systems each feature built-in battery management electronics for voltage, temperature and state-of-charge monitoring and cell balancing. They also include internal disconnects, making them extremely fault-tolerant, as each battery system can protect itself from potentially damaging conditions.

To complement the new U-Charge RT and XP Power Systems, Valence Technology will offer battery management systems (U-BMS) and a battery discharge indicator (U-BDI).

The U-BMS can be used with 12-volt to 450-volt applications to provide smart battery-to-battery balancing, battery system monitoring, direct control of external disconnects and remote battery system control.

The U-BDI is a companion device that displays the state-of-charge for U-Charge RT Power System models.

The Valence batteries use a phosphate-based cathode material rather than the cobalt-oxide used in traditional Li-ion cells. Phosphates are stable in overcharge or short circuit conditions and have the ability to withstand high temperatures without decomposing. When abuse does occur, phosphates are not prone to thermal runaway and will not burn.

In addition to being more stable and safer, the phosphate-based batteries offer better longevity and discharge than their cobalt-oxide counterparts.



will be interesting to see how the EDrive conversions using Valence batteries go this year. It will be sweet if they really do get 100+ mpg in normal driving conditions. And if they can some how find a way to get the price down from 10K it will be even better. How awesome would it be if we were all driving around in cars that got 100mpg!


I'd really like to see more biodiesel, but not from crops. Someting I haven't seen much discussion about is the use of the polymerization processes with sewage. Pig poop yes, turkey guts yes, but human sewage? There's gold in them thar' ....


Human sewage is similar to pig sewage, at least when looking at the good stuff. They have done work converting pig waste into a refineable oil in a lab with minimal energy (positive return) the same could be done for human waste if there was the will.

Hope they can work on getting the price down on these battery systems, that's the real "technology" barrier at this point.

david Metz

Schwa, agreed, batteries is the grail. I still have the irrational fantasy that capacitor densities will go up enough though. Faster, longer lasting and no disposal problems.


Would love to get a 144v pack of these for my current EV conversion. I haven't seen recent pricing but I suspect it's well above ten thousand dollars, especially with a BMS factored in (which you have to have). I bet it's more in the range of $15-$30k for batts & bms.

Not sure what a good price point would be. Obviously being able to pop a pack of lithiums in the car and not mess with them (i.e. water) or need to change them for ten to fifteen years would be awesome.

Ten years worth of lead acids (the type I used in my first EV) runs around three or four grand, not counting all of the maintenance and mess. Let's say I spend one hour a month. At my base consulting rate of $50/hr that's $600/year, or another $6000 over a ten year span, total cost of $9-10k for the lead acids when labor is factored in (not counting labor to replace battery packs). Plus, the lead acid doesn't get anywhere near the power density/range of good lithiums.

Hopefully the hybrid craze will result in more demand for advanced battery systems across the board and economies of scale in batteries and management systems.



You got to think that valence is getting close to bringing the price down. They have transferred manufacturing to China, and they have started to get some customers that will help with the economies of scale. Segway, oxygen, and a couple others. And if EDrive every cranks up operations... If the technology is as good as it sounds you would think they could pull some nice gov't contracts, also.

John W.

I think electric, or mostly electric is the way of the future too. (Not hydrogen--why do all the energy conversions?) We could make the batteries last even a lot longer than they currently do if we had a battery/super capacitor combination, with all initial current draw and recharge going through/being supplied by the capacitor. This would alleviate at least the high drain/high recharge rates of initial acceleration/deceleration, which would take a lot of the strain off the batts. Capacitors might not be powerful enough yet to run alone, but they sure have a place, and it's very disappointing more hybrids don't use them more extensively, seeing as they basically will outlive the *customer.*


Does anyone have any figures on how long a modern hybrid (say Honda Insight) can go on electric only in moderate city driving? Eg - only 1 to 2 stops at lights, but otherwise up and down from 10-30mph.
I'd be interested to know what the practical tradeoff on the weight of vehicles with more or less batts vs driving conditions.
The puzzle is that less batts would give you less range, requiring the engine to start more often. Cold starts would use more energy.
Then the second comparison would be what is better between a tiny engine that charges slower, or a bigger one that gives a quick boost, knowing the bigger is heavier.
Obviously Honda nad Toyota have done these calcs, but I'd like to know what others think. If you notice, differnet hybrids of seemingly similar dimensions (4 seater Civic sized cars) all have different ideas on 'engine capacity' to 'number of batteries' ratios.

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