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EnerDel Li-Ion Battery Exceeds More USABC Phase 1 Power-Assist Goals for Hybrid Electric Vehicle Batteries

Ener1 announced that the lithium-ion battery pack from its EnerDel subsidiary met and exceeded additional USABC (US Advanced Battery Consortium) phase-one power-assist performance goals for hybrid electric vehicles in independent laboratory testing.

Ener1 announced successful completion of an earlier round of USABC testing in January. EnerDel is one of four companies with a li-ion battery project with USABC—the others are the Johnson Controls-Saft joint venture (JCS), Compact Power Inc. (CPI, the US subsidiary of LG Chemical), and A123Systems.

Power-assist tests included static capacity, hybrid pulse power, self-discharge and thermal performance at various temperatures. USABC is a part of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), an umbrella organization for collaborative research among DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation, which often works with the US Department of Energy (DOE) on the cooperative development of advanced technologies.

In particular, the EnerDel cells averaged 50% more discharge power (i.e., ability to accelerate in stop-and-go traffic) compared to the end-of-life target, and the cells had a significantly lower self-discharge (i.e., the amount of battery energy loss when the vehicle is not operating) than the USABC target.

The cells exhibited consistent discharge results over wide temperature ranges, including very good low temperature performance. In the next stage tests expected in April 2007, the batteries will be tested additionally for high hybrid pulse power characterization, cold cranking, efficiency and lifetime performance.

FreedomCAR Energy Storage System Performance Goals for Power-Assist Hybrid Electric Vehicles (November 2002)
CharacteristicUnitPower-Assist (Min.)Power-Assist (Max.)
Pulse discharge power (10s) kW 25 40
Peak regenerative pulse power (10s) kW 20 (55-Wh pulse) 35 (97-Wh pulse)
Total available energy (over DOD range where power goals are met) kWh 0.3 (at C1/1rate) 0.5 (at C1/1rate)
Minimum round-trip energy efficiency % 90
(25-Wh cycle)
(50-Wh cycle)
Cold cranking power at -30°C (three 2s pulses, 10s rests between) kW 5 7
Cycle life for specified SSOC increments cycles 300,000
25-Wh cycles
(7.5 MWh)
50-Wh cycles
(15 MWh)
Calendar life years 15 15
Maximum weight kg 40 60
Maximum volume liters 32 45
Operating voltage limits Vdc max ≤ 400
min≥(0.55 x Vmax)
max ≤ 400
min≥(0.55 x Vmax)
Maximum allowable self-discharge rate Wh/day 50 50
Temperature range
°C -30 to +52
-46 to +66
-30 to +52
-46 to +66
Production Price US$ 500 800

EnerDel is working under a 12-month, cost-share contract from USABC as part of a proposed three-phase plan to launch a cost competitive lithium ion battery that is lighter, smaller and higher in power than existing battery technologies for hybrid electric vehicles.

The company is collaborating with Argonne National Laboratory on the advanced materials that give the battery its characteristics. EnerDel’s long-term plan includes the mass-manufacture of li-ion batteries in the State of Indiana using automated production technologies.

Ener1 owns 80.5% of its EnerDel subsidiary which is developing li-ion technology through corporate ventures and strategic partnerships with Delphi, ITOCHU and EnerStruct.




Isn't this what GM was waiting for before they committed to the Chevy Volt, is the ball back in their court?


This is what GM is waiting for if it hits their kWhrs capacity criteria in a 400lb package.

Fat Knowledge

Can someone put this battery performance in perspective with other batteries out there?

I see a $800 battery that stores .5 kWh in a 60 kg package, but I don't know how that compares.


Looking at this chart I can't help wondering if a future BEV would be best off with a pair of energy storage devices. One with a high power density and a very large cycle life for quick starts and regen energy absorption to front the system and a second behind with higher energy density and lower cost for large scale storage. It seems too much to ask to have a battery with perfect characteristics all the way round. It would require extra work on the control side but that shouldn't translate into a large production cost.


Neil: I agree. That is why I expect capacitors to become part of vehicles using electric, hybrids, etc.


Hey Fatty,

Those numbers were just the goals. The EnerDel battery "surpassed" those goals. By what margin? I don't know... (I'm talking about price, weight, energy capacity, etc as they obviously state the margin for surpassing the pulse discharge power).

So much for the short shelf life that others on this message board are always harping on about...seems to be that this is one example that will last longer than most people own their cars.



From Wiki (there are numerous other sources):

Li-Ion rechargeable battery: “Time durability – 24-36 month”, “Cycle durability – 1200 cycles”

“A unique drawback of the Li-ion battery is that its life span is dependent upon aging from time of manufacturing (shelf life) regardless of whether it was charged, and not just on the number of charge/discharge cycles. So an older battery will not last as long as a new battery due solely to its age, unlike other batteries. This drawback is not widely publicized.”

“Permanent capacity loss at 25C – 20% per year”

”Aging of lithium-ion is an issue that is often ignored. A lithium-ion battery in use typically lasts between 2-3 years. The capacity loss manifests itself in increased internal resistance caused by oxidation. Increasing internal resistance with cycle life and age is typical for cobalt-based lithium-ion. The lower energy dense manganese-based lithium-ion maintains the internal resistance through its life but loses capacity due to chemical decompositions.”

“Manganese is inherently safer and more forgiving if abused but offers a slightly lower energy density. Manganese suffers capacity loss at temperature above 40°C and ages quicker than cobalt.”

Note, that A123 and EnerDel batteries have manganese-based cathode.

Now take a look at paper of Dr. House from Altair Nano:

He claims that by replacing anode with proprietary li titanate spinel material, they achieved “zero strain” design which contributes to exceptional long CYCLING life, high specific energy, fast charge capability, etc.

At least they SUGGEST that problem is solved and provide sensible explanation (backed by patents) how they did it.

As you know, battery developers were and are champions for misleading statements and broken promises. Before I will read by my own eyes clear statement that aging problem of Li batteries was solved, with detailed explanation (with links to patents) how it was achieved, I will not believe in their PR claims.


Fat-K, Good job finding those numbers that were hidden in that large pile of hype-crap. $1,600 per kwh, what a joke.

Andrey -- Good job exposeing their lack of info regarding battery life. BTW, Altair has a long history of hype. And, even if they are finally being honest for once in their life, their cost is over $2,000 per kwh.
Another big joke.

I just invented a better mouse trap. After I sell thousands of them at $100 each, I can lower the price to one dollar. I can't wait to make all that money.



You are talking about current selling price for advanced Li batteries. Knowledgeable experts, for example this one:

put Li battery price at 500-700$ per KWh. After, of course, first 1000 100$ traps will be sold.


A single 18650 cell contains about 8 Wh and costs about $1.70 to manufacture. (2001 costs, today of course cheaper than this).

This puts the manufacturing cost of LiIon at around $212 per kWh. The inflated costs you see widely publicised today relate to low-volume early stage large format batteries from specialists. There is no inherent reason why LiIon should cost more than $300 per kWh in volume production.

As for calender life, Fuji Heavy / NEC have developed a 10 year life LiIon battery. It will also be interesting to listen for reports of how the LiIon in the Toyota Vitz hybrid is getting on (presumably Toyota already have the answer, enabling their confidence to put long-life LiIon in the '08 Prius).


How come I haven't heard of ENER 1 before now? Looks like they'be been under the radar and just jumped to the front of the line!



Wikipedia is suspect at best as a source. I could easily go in and edit the articles to say what I want...

I was not addressing Li-ion batteries in general but if you READ the article, the claim is that the EnerDel batteries EXCEED the phase 1 requirements for Li-Ion. Carefully read all the requirements and you will notice that 15 year shelf life is clearly listed. Therefore, claims that any and all Li-ion batteries are useless after 2-3 years seem to not hold true to EnerDel's batteries based on this article.


Good job on not understanding the article! $1600 per kWhr is a PHASE I GOAL!!! It never mentioned what the actual cost of the EnerDel batteries is...only that it, at the very least, met this goal.


Power density is no longer an issue for pure BEVs. You need 50 kWh or so for 200 miles of range, any pack that large has no trouble putting out 100 kW for short bursts. Power density remains an issue for PHEVs but it looks like advanced lithium chemistries will be able to deliver a suitable mix of power and energy. HEVs use only a power battery because they need very little energy storage.

A123 lithium batteries use iron phosphate, not manganese. As for Altair, their claims are impressive but unverified. Until they allow 3rd parties to take a look I can't take them seriously.

You continue to lowball lithium battery prices. The $1.70 manufacturing cost for an 18650 cell quoted in the Argonne Labs paper was 75% materials. Material prices (especially cobalt) have gone up since 2000. Adjusting for that and using Argonne's 1.55x multiplier to account for R&D, marketing, transport, warranty, markup, etc. gives us a $400-500/kWh wholesale cost. But that's for "energy cells", not the "power cells" you need in a HEV or PHEV. Power cells generally use twice as much material per kWh and are therefore more expensive. By avoiding cobalt companies such as A123 may eventually bring power batteries down to $400-500/kWh as well, but it's still too early to call.


Patrick -- You did not understand my comments. The reason that they did not mention the "actual cost" is the same reason that they hide vital specs such as cost per kwh in a large pile of relativly unimportant numbers. It is the same reason why they beat around the bush with vague terms like "PHASE I GOAL". The reason is that they are embarrassed by the real numbers. They are ashamed. They do not want to make it easy for the public to compare batteries.

Here is another typical example. I just read some positive claims for the "zebra" EV battery. I then spent about fifteen minutes on google trying to find the cost per kwh and could not find it. I will make a wild guess the their current cost is over $1,000 per kwh. I will guess that they do not publish this spec in plain english because they are too ashamed.


::You continue to lowball lithium battery prices.

Do some froogling or ebaying, and after some calculations you find out that small-format li-ions are indeed below $300
Large-format should actually be cheaper.


Kert, I've done lots of froogling and EBaying and the best prices I see are around $500/kWh. Once in a while I come across someone who bought a few pallets of surplus laptop batteries at auction or something and is selling them cheap, but that's a special case and not representative of wholesale pricing.

If you can find $300/kWh I'd sure appreciate a link.


Regarding battery costs, I have read in various places that the Prius 1.3 kwh battery pack costs between $1,500 and $1,900. So, if a decent li-on battery can be bought for two or three hundred per kwh, why would Toyota pay $1,300 ? If my info is incorrect and Toyota pays two or three hundred per kwh, why do they only install a measly 1.3 kwh?


All -- why don't you listen to Ener1's Charles Gassenheimer talk about their press release and battery test results on Friday? Here's the link to the PR:

I've been following Ener1/Inprimis/Boca Research since they failed in their merger attempt with Hayes Modem, and believe me -- this is the most interesting it has been in years! All IMO. Good luck!

kent beuchert

"Andrey -- Good job exposeing their lack of info regarding battery life. BTW, Altair has a long history of hype. And, even if they are finally being honest for once in their life, their cost is over $2,000 per kwh."
That's quite a claim. It's also quite wrong. Why anyone would believe that a 1 kWhr NanoSafe would cost $2000 is quite amystery. Perhaps it's because this poster saw some figures passed between Altair and Phoenix and assumed they could tell from them how much the batteries cost. That's incorrect. Gotcher has remarked that under mass production NanoSafes will cost about the same as li ions. I might add that I have followed Altair for quite some time and since Gotcher has assumed the helm, there haver been NO claims that haven't been backed up by third parties and by the
use of these batteries in publicly owned vehicles. If you can document anything that contradicts this belief, then I'd like to hear your evidence. Since your cost figures are so wildly inacurate, I would need a lot more than just a personal statement, since you have, at this point, no credibility with respect to Altair NanoSafes.


Kent -- Altair does not list any current price for their battery. The only numbers that they gave was for an order from Phoenix which came to about $84,000 for each 35 kwh battery. If you have any other numbers please state them. BTW, Your statement, "Gotcher has remarked that under mass production NanoSafes will cost about the same as li ions. " does NOT contain any numbers.

According to everyone on the Altair MB on Yahoo, there has been NO independent verification of their battery. Even the pumpers admit this. If you have any info, please enlighten us. I have read their pr's that have been posted on that board and am amazed by all their bullcrap. Even the pumpers admit their history is sordid.

I have seen no evidence that their batteries are currently being used by anyone. Please provide some.

Regarding Phoenix Motorcars, they have been in business for six years and describe themselves as:

"Phoenix Motorcars manufactures zero-emission, freeway-speed fleet vehicles. It is an early leader in the mass production of full-function, green electric trucks and SUVs for commercial fleet use..."

The problem is that they have not sold any vehicles, not one.

BTW, You did not explain why Toyota would pay five times your market price for their EV batteries. Good luck.



For hybrid applications Toyota uses high power batteries instead of high-energy ones. Such battery has twice KW per kg, but half the KWh per kg. Hence double price in $ per KWh units.


Doggdogworld, for a decent range PHEV pack you would not need to buy material expensive high power batteries. Because the battery is much larger than a HEV battery, the specific power can be kept low. Eg, a 150 kg PHEV pack would only need to provide 500 W/kg to give 75 kW (~100hp).

Incidentally, AC-Propulsion were meant to have bought their 18650s for $2 each. I'm not sure what Tesla are paying.


Andrey -- Thanks

Your analysis seems to reduce the price from $1,200 per kwh to $600 which is a big step but still a long way from $300.

I still would like to know the price that is paid by the manufacturers of PHEV's. That would be the bottom line.

On a related note, there is a very big story that has pumped up the Alti MB. Pres. Bush is supposed to test drive a Phoenix vehicle equiped with an Alti battery on the white house lawn today. If true, it would be an amazing coup for alti-phoenix.


Here's the link:

If press releases and claims were all it took to make a successful (i.e. profitable) business, Valence, EEStor, and Alti would be the darlings of the battery world. Some companies make and sell product, the others issue press releases.


what the greedie techies cannot admit is that the solution is to consume less, much, much less, 5-10x less on average, leave the planet alone for good awhile and let it heal, where's the tech for that ?

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