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Electrovaya Delivers Plug-in Escape Hybrid to NYSERDA; Application of New MN-Series Li-Ion Cells

Electrovaya’s subsidiary Electrovaya Company, located in Ballston Spa, New York, has delivered a converted Ford Escape SUV Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Electrovaya is using its new MN Series Lithium Ion SuperPolymer cells—a lithiated manganese oxide-based system—to build a 12 kWh pack that augments the original NiMH pack in the Escape. Electrovaya's testing indicates 130 mpg equivalency from the converted PHEV.

The MN cells offer up to 50% higher energy density with comparable safety characteristics to Electrovaya’s Phosphate Series, according to Gitanjali DasGupta, Electrovaya’s Project Manager, Electric Vehicle Program.

The MN-Series has an energy density of up to 210 Wh/kg versus the Phosphate wSeries, which offers up to 140 Wh/kg. On a cell-level, the MN-Series offers a volumetric energy density of up to 425 Wh/L. On a system-level, the prismatic large-format construction enables a volumetric saving of up to 22% as compared to cylindrically constructed cells—a volumetric saving common to prismatic cells.

The battery pack will recharge from 0% to 80% in less than 2 hours at 220V; a complete recharge (0% to 100%) is approximately 4 hours. A full charge at 120V is overnight.

This is the first Ford Escape to be converted to a PHEV by Electrovaya and to be operated and tested by NYSERDA as part of the $10-million New York State Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Technology Initiative aimed at converting the State’s 500-plus standard hybrids to plug-in capability.

In December 2006, NYSERDA awarded four companies contracts for the conversion of conventional hybrids to plug-in hybrids: Hymotion, Hybrids Plus, Electrovaya and EnergyCS. (Earlier post.)

Evaluation will be carried out by Argonne National Laboratory, which has been has been designated by the US Department of Energy’s Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies as lead national laboratory for the simulation, validation and laboratory evaluation of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as well as advanced technologies required for PHEVs.

By year’s end we will have six plug-in conversions, testing the three major hybrid brands already in the State fleet, Ford Escape, Toyota Prius and Honda Civic. In cooperation with US DOE, we will test them and place them into daily service among various State agencies. Those results will offer us data on the potential to convert more State vehicles.

—Paul D. Tonko, NYSERDA president and CEO



130 mpg, but what's the all-electric range? There really ought to be a better way to measure the BEV-mode, the all-gas freeway-mode, and the combined cycle to understand what the real-world efficiency is likely to be.


I really like the idea of driving a 130mpg vehicle, so I hope we see this technology deployed. Vespa is developing hybrid scooters that will supposedly get up to 170mpg.

With that kind of efficiency I could do my entire commute for the week on less than two gallons of gas.


Cervus: In our climate what we need ia a Venture1.


This sounds like a brilliant battery - 210 Wh/kg and good safety profile too. Valence, A123 and Altair safe LiIons manage only 90-100 Wh/kg.

Would like to hear more about cycle-life though, if it's up there with the rest of them then we may have a new winner....


clett: If this LiMn battery is similar to the ones I've looked into before then it may have only a life of around 500-700 cycles or so. The good news is that the LiMn batteries were cheaper than the LiFe batteries (almost enough to make up for the shorter life cycle). Certainly a chemistry worthy of more attention.


It is the life span that is the problem. Unless they could make them dirt cheap the cycle life would have to be in the 1000s and not the 100s. This company has made laptop extender batteries for years, because they are thin and light. Laptops are not cars and they might be stretching their capabilities a bit here.


I've been following Electrovaya a while. They always seem to have the best battery since Volta - but never anything concrete. Manganate spinel or layered MnO2 LiIon batteries generally have similar specific energy to LiFePO4, i.e well under 100Wh/kg - 70 or 80. I do not believe this company.

PHEV Wannabe

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