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Lithium-ion Electric Doblò Travels 300km in One Day With Three Fast Recharges

Micro-Vett electric Fiat Doblò.

A Micro-Vett Fiat Doblò, a regular size 5-seat station wagon, powered by a custom 18kWh Altairnano lithium-ion NanoSafe battery pack, traveled 300 kilometers (186 miles) in one day in an urban delivery circuit. The custom battery pack was fully recharged in less than ten minutes a total of three times using AeroViroments’ high voltage, 125kW rated, rapid charging system.

The demonstration came halfway through an ongoing 60-day demonstration of the 5-seat electric vehicle by AeroVironment, Inc.; Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.; Micro-Vett, SPA; and Go Green Holding AS to government officials and potential commercial customers in Oslo, Norway.

The standard Micro-Vett Fiat Doblò uses a 43 kWh lead-acid battery pack, providing a range of 150 km (93 miles) in the urban duty cycle on a single charge; recharging takes 5-8 hours. The vehicle uses a 30 kW (60 kW peak) motor from Ansaldo Electric Drives.

Micro-Vett has been manufacturing electric vehicles since 1987 and so we constantly follow energy accumulation systems evolution, from batteries to fuel cells. Until now we’ve seen some developments, but Altairnano’s fast charge batteries have the potential to revolutionize electric vehicles and also the automotive industry. It was very exciting to see Doblò’s charge level indicator going up visibly in Oslo. With Altairnano’s fast charge batteries, we can overcome the primary electric vehicle limitation because we can achieve refuelling times comparable to those of gasoline-powered vehicles.

—Massimiliano Di Gioia, Micro-Vett Vice President

The lithium-ion Doblò will be driven an estimated total of 7,500 kilometers (4,660 miles) during the 60-day demonstration period, which translates to an annual equivalent use of 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles).

Go Green expects to ship up to 20 Micro-Vett vehicles with Altairnano’s 18kWh NanoSafe battery packs to customers in the next several months, and an additional 250 vehicles are planned for shipment in 2008. Altairnano offers a range of battery packs for all-electric vehicles requiring from 10 to 35 kWh of energy storage.



how many bucks for the 18kwh nanosafe battery ?


Dang, I was going to buy alti when it was at $3/share a few weeks ago---it spiked more than 20% today.


the correct question is: what will the battery cost in 3 years when it's selling in the tens of millions?

this battery is the best battery in the world. do some due diligence. they've cycled this battery over 25,000 times and still retain 85% capacity.

AES the big electric utility is an owner of this company and they are developing a 1MW battery for grid storage and load leveling. this is by far the best battery in the world. it WILL NOT HEAT UP. thermal runaway is a non-issue with this battery.


As far as I remember Phoenix had an exclusive deal with Altair to use their batteries. However, it was made conditional on Phoenix actually ordering a minimum quantity of batteries from Altair. It seems the exclusive deal with Phoenix is off and Altair is selling their batteries to others. I wish Altair good luck and hope they will soon find a real customer among the established vehicle producers. The website of looks like a joke and I wander how the rest of the firm is operated.

Does anyone have a price on this product?


Nice to see someone buying some Nanosafe batteries. I still Phoenix could have a real winner if they could get some investment capital going.

Harvey D


I too think that Altairnano batteries have a lot to offer for PHEVs and specially BEVs. Safety + Very fast (10 minutes) multiple (25000+) charge-discharge is exactly what is required.

Let's hope that the current price of about $1000+/KWh will drop to about $300/KWh when mass produced in very large factories in countries with lower labour cost by (2010-2012?)

Will competition do better? and cheaper? Time will tell.


Altair's exclusivity agreement with Phoenix is in the US only and is only for EV road vehicles. This leaves Altair a lot of flexibility to sell outside the US and in the US for PHEV's and other uses. BTW, ALTI's up over 50% as I write this and I did buy at around $3. Woo hoo!

Mike Z

Yeah I was going to buy $1,000 worth. I purchased 100 shares @ $3.50 and was waiting for the stock to go to $3 and buy the rest.

Anyone know anything about if ALTI has any options trading?

Jim G.

I saw a link, I think here, that Altair is licensing batteries to an electric car startup in the UK, also: Could be Phoenix's exclusive rights are limited, e.g., to the US auto market.

bruno cipolla

re: options
no, no options... only stock

~62 mile range is not much, going to need bigger batteries and greater range for full production EVs. But rapid recharge is a BIG improvement.


As an owner of Altairnano stock this is a nice morning. But the battery situation is going to take roughly another year before the winners and losers emerge.

Invest money only if you are willing to lose 100%.

Small tech companies never know when their patents and product will be made worthless by a single improvement or event elsewhere.

No big company is committed to Altairnano batteries. And several, such as GM, are buying elsewhere. It is anyone's guess what that means - which is why stocks rise and fall.

Anyway, I am glad to see Altair dealing with Fiat. Phoenix may do OK but their recent announcements have worried me. They seem to have lost focus.


Good investment advice K!

Rafael Seidl

This solution makes sense for operators of delivery fleets, who can afford 25kWe gensets or utility drops on site and, can train staff in the safe handling of the cables and connectors associated with such high power levels. 100km is a substantial acion radius for e.g. an urban delivery vehicle. Boosting it to 300km via a couple of rapid recharges during the day is very attractive.

I don't think recharging that often is attractive for members of the general public, though. For a commuter car, trickle-charging at night would be preferable - iff you have a garage or access to a secured outdoor outlet. Longer distances will remain impossible until there is a network of fast recharge stations - the usual chicken-and-egg bootstrapping problem.


K ,
Altair are not dealing with Fiat , Micro Vett are a compleatly separate
company , Fiat want nothing to do with BEV´s and are still investing heavily
down the fool cell route !

Harvey D


Colocating fast charge stations with most existing fuel stations should not be a major problem. Electricity is already available most everywhere. Fuel pumps could progressively be phased out in favor of charge stations.

Handling a flexible insulated power cable should not be that different from a fuel hose and nozzle. Most North Americans, could learn how to do that. For reluctant drivers, service attendants could do it for a very small fee.

Eventually, an automatic, car roof top connector, could take care of this task for reluctant and disabled drivers. The 300 and 400 pounders would not even have to get out of their vehicles.


Micro Vett is supposed to be a pretty big player in the European BEV world. I don't know anything about Go Green but they say they tested allot of other batteries (including A123's) and favor Altair's nanosafes.

Rafael Seidl

@Harvey D -

25kW is a big utiliy drop, involving both high voltage and high current. It think there might be some safety concerns having that in close proximity to flammable fuels like gasoline.

Besides, recharge stations would be franchisees of the utilities. Gas stations are franchisees of the oil industry. IFF PHEVs/BEVs ever achieve signiicant market share, these two industries will be competitors.

Jim G.

I also own a handful of shares in Altair, but K is right in that you have to be willing to make a bet. For instance, if GM actually has the will to follow through on the Volt project and it's a success, A123, which likely has that contract, might be eating Altair's lunch.

This expansion for Altair is good news, but it's too bad Fiat itself didn't take the leap, or at least invest as a joint venture. It would be so nice to have at least one large automaker seriously involved in EV's. Once one of these startups gets regular customers and predictable revenue, we'll see the ramp up and the price drop.

As to the recharging stations: being a potential early-adopter of these things, I realize part of Altair's advantage is it's fast-recharge, I'm be perfectly content to be limited to overnight 120 VAC charging; I doubt I'm alone in that.


andrichrose: You are fight. I read that the vehicle was a Fiat and erred.

Apparently a Fiat shell is the EV testbed.

In any case it looks like good news. I want EVs but not just any EVs.

It is hard or impossible to get good data on battery cost curves. For now everything depends on that.

Stan Peterson

@Harvey D,

Handling 25kwe power lines is not something that you want your average gas jockey to be handling. Its like feuling your ICE with a little nitro boost...

That is dangerous stuff.

Stan Peterson

@Harvey D,

Handling 25kwe power lines is not something that you want your average gas jockey to be handling. Its like feuling your ICE with a little nitro boost...

That is dangerous stuff.


Raphael: If the oil industry is smart, it will see the writing on the wall and branch out even further into electrical generation and go after the quick charge market. There will be a quick charge market for people that can't trickle charge at night or who need the extra juice during the day.


This is great news for a number of reasons:

1/ light commercial traffic is growing rapidly and makes up a substantial proportion of vehicle traffic, especially outside peak periods.
2/I used to drive a light truck for a warehouse distribution company in Sydney (4m population). We would never drive 300km in a day. Most operators wouldn't need to charge three times in a day and some days you would get away without stopping for a recharge.
3/ The stop-start nature of delivery driving is ideally suited for EV torque and regenerative braking.

In a short time EV's are going to be a very attractive proposition for distribution and delivery, especially with rising diesel and petrol costs.


Stan Peterson - "Handling 25kwe power lines is not something that you want your average gas jockey to be handling. Its like feuling your ICE with a little nitro boost..."

Perhaps you can use something like this:

It is rated to 8kV and 200amps and is safe to use underwater. You really need to think about how dangerous petrol is. We have just gotten used to it.

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