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Phoenix Installs and Tests First Production EV Lithium-Ion Battery Pack from Altairnano

Phoenix Motorcars has installed the first Altairnano NanoSafe production battery pack system in a Phoenix Motorcars all-electric sports utility truck (SUT), and completed initial testing with satisfactory results.

The lithium-ion battery pack is a 35 kWh configuration that will enable Phoenix to equip a SUT that can be charged in 10 minutes and achieve up to 130 miles between charges (earlier post). This SUT will be used as a demonstration vehicle for initial sales, and already it is committed for multiple prospect demonstrations and a trade show in December.

The results are amazing, we are delighted with the quality of construction and the specification of this first production battery pack. Based on early feedback we are confident we will be able to sell at least 500 vehicles into the fleet market during 2007.

The SUT is an ideal vehicle for fleets because it combines a large payload capability with the ability to carry 5 adults at freeway speeds, and deliver a driving range of 100+ miles. With over 200,000 fleet vehicles in California alone, and no one else providing a viable zero emission, fleet-ready vehicle, we have an outstanding market opportunity. Now that we have seen the production quality of Altairnano’s NanoSafe batteries we know we have a winner.

—Phoenix Motorcar CEO Daniel J. Elliott

Altairnano is also working on a 70 kWh NanoSafe pack that can support a driving range of up to 250 miles for possible delivery to Phoenix Motorcars in the latter part of 2007.



I'd love to know what the mass production price of this unit would be. (I would love to see a smaller unit for e-cycles .. 4-5 kwh)

John W.

Neil, I agree. There are lithium-ion polymer batteries being used now for e-bikes, up to 30 amp-hours, and the range is quite phenomenal for a bicycle. They are a thousand dollars for a battery though! It's still a good deal if you plan on actually using your bike to get around with as it gets some crazy gas mileage figure: like 2500 miles/gallon.


I hope Tesla is paying attention.

Harvey D.

Very good news.

Wouldn't this be an ideal battery pack(possibly downsized by up to 50%) for a compact PHEV, when coupled with a very small, light weight, highly efficient, on-board bio-fuel (10 +/- KW) genset.

PHEVs do not need 300 HP, V-8 or V-6 ICE gensets if the battery pack + electrical propulsion system are rugged enough. A 10 to 15 KW genset will keep a compact car rolling at 65 mph will the help of the battery pack for accellerating and passing.

Racers could always use the larger (70 KWh) battery pack to spin their wheels.




Price: 45000$
top speed: 95 mph
See yahoo videos

Henrik Mathiesen

The price of the Altairnano NanoSafe battery is not disclosed directly but at the Phoenix Motorcars website it is given indirectly ( Quoting this website "Our initial volume market entry strategy can be profitably supported in California due to the availability of California’s Zero Emission Vehicle Credits (see below). Our two source revenue strategy will result in revenue value per vehicle of $245,000 ($45,000 sales price, plus $200,000 ZEV credit)."

It will cost max $45000 to produce the vehicle without the battery so the implication is (as I see it) that the 35kvh batterypack cost about $200000! I hope that I got it wrong somehow since $200000 for a revolutionary battery is not going to change much in the mass market for vehicles. Military applications and cars for affluent people still makes sence though.


With a production run of only 500 vehicles, the NRE costs and tooling costs could very well inflate the cost per vehicle (from Phoenix) quite substantially if Phoenix were asked to absorb much of those costs for the first run of vehicles.


Thanks, Henry. Though that video is a little confusing. He says the price will be $45K, but he also says it will take 6 hours to recharge.

I was more interested in whether they have a price on the truck with the fast-recharge batteries, or whether that's just going to be a demo for the time being.


Less than half the $$ for a Tesla. And it's a truck (sortof)


I'm mostly interested in the cost of these batteries if they were in high volume production. Maybe Altair are the people who may have an idea what that might be.

Thomas Pedersen

Maybe we can now dispense with all the talk about Altair batteries being stock-hyping vaporware?..


Maybe we can now dispense with all the talk about Altair batteries being stock-hyping vaporware?..

When they hit the road in a vehicle sold to an actual customer, yes. I don't necessarily buy into the notion of "stock-hyping", but it's definitely vaporware until it hits the streets.


I have not looked into the company (Altairnano) but I'm surprised equipment manufacturers are not interested in their batteries for cell phones and laptops. The ability to recharge your phone or laptop battery in 10 minutes is very marketable. Are they refusing to sell the IP to battery manufacturers like Sony, Sanyo, Panasonic, etc?


Tesla just posted a very informative article about their batteries.


I believe the truck is the same with the fast recharge. The difference in price comes from the recharger. This makes it a good choice for large fleets who can recharge on it at their company headquarters.


Once again:

Altair nano battery, being by far the best current roll-out, is not ideal. It has energy density lower than Co, Mn, or Phosphate batteries used currently in cell phones and laptops. That’s why it is not generally attractive to portable electronics market. It is not ideal for BEV too, but for PHEV it is probably the best we have hoped for.

Altair battery does not use precious materials. However, cathode material uses small quality on nano scale Titanate spinel, which is marginally more expensive then other electrodes in Li batteries. All in all, price for production battery should be comparable with current rechargeable Li batteries.


This isnt even all that big a a car and its alreadsy dealing with charge rates that would requite a 480 volt 500 amp draw. Imagine a ev suv.. Now imagine the size of the cabel needed to charge it in 10 min. I have lugged such monster cableaa round and even a few feet weighs a ton and it is NOT all that bendy.


I would think that for that kind of quick charge you would use multiple cables running in parallel.


"Now that we have seen the production quality of Altairnano’s NanoSafe batteries we know we have a winner."
—Phoenix Motorcar CEO Daniel J. Elliott

AFAIK, this is the first independent verification of Altair' s batt, assuming that Mr. Elliot is independent.
And, it is Altair's first sale of their batt, assuming that all is above board which I do not assume because of the their history of hype.

And there is still no mention of price, not even an estimate.


A 50 kW charger, from many years ago (1998).

It was designed to charge the EV1 or S10 to full in 12 minutes. I don't think the cable is too unwieldy, and inductive charging means good safety and no problems with the contacts. You could easily parallel 2 or 3 of these for faster charging if you wanted.


Any when you have 1000s of cars that want to charge 50kwh in 10 minutes on the road during a summer day midweek when AC has tripled the peak load, you can just fire up another 10 peaker plants.


The delivery of one (1) battery is not a production quantity. Altair may be on their way, but I'm not impressed.

The forklift industry uses commercial battery chargers for lead-acid batteries that will charge 36 to 80 volt batteries at up to 700 amps, called rapid charge. Two brands are PosiCharge and Aker Wade. They are typically connected with (2) 4/0 cables connected in parallel. The cables are stranded copper and are fairly flexible. They are about 3/4" in diameter.


The hardware is one thing, the energy is another. When 100 cars recharging can take the power of a city of 100,000 people, you have a situation.

kent beuchert

"The delivery of one (1) battery is not a production quantity. Altair may be on their way, but I'm not impressed."
I'm not impressed that you're not impressed. I don't think Phonenix is waiting with baited breath for your
knowledgeless approval.
The fact is that those batteries were the first non-handbuilt examples. They were constructed in Asia on a commercial production line from titanate electrode material produced in Indiana. Anyone familiar with production realizes the significance of producing a defect-free product from an operational production
The SUTs and SUVs are not being built by Phoenix -
they are models already in production in Korea as gasoline engined vehicles. While there are some compromises when converting a gas vehicle, the cost advantages are enormous. Just ask Mitsubishi, a giant corporation that scotched the idea of redesigning the
motor architecture for their upcoming electric car
because of cost factors that the new architecture couldn't justify. A very good candidate vehicle would
be GM's former fuel cell , now serial electric car.

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