Altair Nanotechnologies Receives Initial Order for Electric Car Batteries; Teams with Phoenix Motorcars and Boshart Engineering to Test EVs (updated)
|A Phoenix EV demonstrator, unveiled in March.|
Altair Nanotechnologies has received a $750,000 initial order for its fast-charge, high-powered batteries from Phoenix Motorcars, a company founded in 2001 to mass produce full-function, freeway-ready electric automobiles.
The battery packs will be engineered and manufactured at Altairnano’s Anderson, Indiana facility and will utilize the company’s proprietary nano-lithium ion battery technology. Phoenix Motor Cars is using the engineering services of Boshart Engineering, Inc., based in Ontario, California, to develop the battery integration, validation, certification and regulatory testing.
Altairnano’s nano-lithium battery technology, when integrated with an optimized electric drive train could provide the impetus to rejuvenate and realize the promise of the electric vehicle vision. We are preparing for the manufacture and distribution of several thousand vehicles over the next few years.—Daniel Riegert, Chairman of Phoenix Motorcars
In early 2005, Altairnano announced that it had developed innovative battery electrode material that in independent testing exhibited very fast charge characteristics. In September 2005, the company announced it had taken additional steps to commercialization by acquiring a leading-edge battery design and implementation group which it co-located in Reno, Nevada and Anderson, Indiana. In February 2006 Altairnano announced that it had started the manufacture of battery cells in its Anderson facility, and on May 23rd, Altairnano announced that these battery cells had passed key safety tests conducted by Altairnano. (Earlier post.)
In March, Altair Nanotechnologies and Boshart Engineering entered into a two-year Joint Development Agreement for the design and engineering of a prototype full-speed electric vehicle (EV) to be powered by an Altairnano rechargeable advanced lithium ion battery system. (Earlier post.)
Together Boshart and Altairnano proposed an integrated drive-train and battery system to Phoenix Motorcars.
In March, Phoenix unveiled an electric pickup truck demonstration vehicle, geared to the fleet market. The truck, based on a Valence Saphion Li-ion battery system, offers a top speed of 85 mph and a range of 120 miles per charge.
The new vehicle to be produced with Altairnano and Boshart is an extension of this prior pickup work. Phoenix is anticipating approximately the same specs, according to Dan Reigert, the chairman.
Altairnano’s technology allows for 10 - 15 minute recharge—with the use of an off-board charger. Phoenix uses an Enova drivetrain in the current pickup prototype, and will still offer the Enova option in the new vehicle, although it is also investigating other drive train options at this time.
Riegert estimates that it will take to the end of this calendar year to get the safety testing certified with NHTSA and CARB certification. Following that certification, Phoenix will offer the electric pickup for sale to fleets and individuals.
The current production plan is for 10 vehicles by the end of 2006 (in process), 500 vehicles in 2007, 5,000 in 2008, 20,000 in 2009, 50,000 in 2010 and 100,000 in 2011. Initial pricing is in the low to mid $40K range.