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Axeon Receives Order for 50 Zebra Packs for Modec Electric Vehicle; Li-Ion Under Testing

The Modec EV in van configuration.

Axeon Holdings, which provides green energy and advanced control systems to the automotive and industrial markets, has received a £1.3-million (US$1.7-million) order to supply electrical vehicle manufacturer Modec with the first 50 Sodium Nickel Chloride battery packs for its new light-duty commercial zero-emission vehicle. (Earlier post.)

Modec has chosen Axeon Power as its exclusive supplier of battery packs and has indicated it will produce 700 vehicles in 2007.

On a single charge, the Modec van offers a range of more than 100 miles and a top speed of 50 mph carrying a load of up to two tonnes. The 70 kW motor (102 hp) develops 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque.

Twin parallel-wired 288-volt Zebra sodium-nickel-chloride battery packs have a life span of around four years (1,000 full charging cycles.) Regenerative braking recharges the batteries in addition to grid charging, which takes 8 hours for a complete charge.

The battery pack sits amidships in a drop-down mounting which can be swapped out to avoid downtime while recharging.

The Modec van started life as the LTI (London Taxis International) Electric Mercury. The e-Mercury, introduced in 2004, was developed by LTI in conjunction with Azure Dynamics and MSX International.

Axeon also announced successful initial trials of the lithium-ion battery system Modec contracted it to develop. It added that the system will be ready for production towards the end of the second quarter of 2007.

In February 2006, Axeon Holdings acquired Advanced Batteries (ABL)—a designer and manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion batteries—to take advantage of the developing market for alternative power sources for electric (EV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles. (ABL operates as MPower.)

The two Scottish companies will develop a battery management system suitable for current and next-generation high-capacity Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs. The companies have already jointly developed a prototype. (Earlier post.)

Shares in Axeon Holdings dropped after the company warned its 2006 revenue will be lower than originally anticipated. The company believes 2007 revenue will be more than double that of 2006, however, partly on the Modec contract.



Battery swapping: I've been waiting to see someone do that. It seems so obvious. I wonder if the controller could be programmed to detect and accept different battery configurations and types in order to accept new battery types as they are developed. (plug and drive)


At the turn of the LAST century they were swapping battery packs in EVs...Looks like today's EV wanna-be manufacturers need to visit history to learn things....there were even companies that didn't charge for the batteries, but instead charged by the mile to rent them.


battery rental: a way for energy companies to stay in business in the world of EVs. The customer buys a car sans standard battery pack ... very cheap car. The energy company owns the batteries. The consumer pays a subscription fee to access the companies batteries. The company can amortize the battery over its lifetime. Then the customer either pays by the KWh at the station, charges at home or pay for a full swap if they're in a hurry. The batteries would have to load in a standard manner (back, side or bottom) so that a lift can be installed at service stations for the swap.


Neil, certainly thats the way to go. But currently AFAIK, crudes are going to last a few more good decades. The wealthy major energy corps are going to enjoy the juicy crudes first before they ran out. Oh, except when they want to do some PR, they will show some million dollars prototypes.

BTW, any pricing for the electrical van?


Neil, you wouldn't use the same controller from a LiIon with an NaNiCl or ZnAir. The Zebra controller is much more straightforward and less complex than required by LiIon where you have to keep each cell voltage identical, manage thermal differences etc. The NaNiCl battery is much more rugged and fault tolerant, as would be even a rechageable ZnAir

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