|PVI’s electric Maxity will be powered by Valence Li-ion technology. Click to enlarge.|
Valence Technology, Inc. has entered into a multi-year non-exclusive supply agreement with France-based PVI for Valence’s U-Charge XP Energy Storage Systems. PVI develops and manufactures commercial electric vehicles including electric buses under the GEPEBUS brand and trucks in partnership with Renault Trucks.
Under terms of the supply agreement, Valence will provide lithium phosphate battery systems and engineering support to power four commercial EV platforms. Valence will begin shipments to PVI in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Based on PVI projections, revenue for Valence from this supply agreement could represent approximately $3 million in fiscal 2010.
PVI and Renault Trucks recently announced an agreement to develop concept trucks and demonstrators of light commercial EV vehicles including an all-electric version of the Maxity. The first demonstrator will be powered by Valence lithium phosphate batteries.
The supply agreement with Valence is critical because the battery is the enabling technology for our electric platforms...We will be incorporating Valence solutions not only into the all-electric Maxity concept truck, but also into a number of our other EV projects.—Pierre Midrouillet, managing director of PVI
|“Europeans see this as this point in time...to differentiate themselves with truly advanced alternative solutions.”|
—Valence CEO Robert Kanode
PVI joins a diverse group of nearly 100 companies that are actively testing or have already implemented Valence’s patented energy storage solutions, according to the company. Valence’s technology powers a variety of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) including cars, buses, trucks, scooters and motorbikes.
The deal with PVI also reflects the focus of Valence Technology and its CEO Robert Kanode on the European market.
We are very focused on Europe. We wanted a market moving forward, first to commercial EVs and hybrids. There are now some credible efforts from European OEMs, [there is] support from the public, and the support from government is unbelievable. They are very serious about what they are doing.
You will see the Europeans en masse move to EVs. They believe that 80% of families that own two cars have a commuter car and an extended range car. In their minds, hybrids are complex, heavy, expensive and not terribly efficient. They point to something like a 5 series diesel that can outperform a Prius. Their view of the future is that if you have an EV that can achieve around 100 miles per charge, that’s the commuter car. If you’re looking for an extended range car—and many Europeans won’t—they believe they already have the solution in the diesels. That’s their philosophy, to move aggressively to EVs. That’s our sweet spot.—Robert Kanode
Valence’s first generation phosphate cathode material is an iron-based phosphate strategically enhanced (doped) via magnesium (Mg) substitution: LiFe(1-x)Mg(x)PO4. Iron phosphate is relatively low-cost, environmentally benign (as opposed to cobalt) and structurally stable. The addition of the magnesium improves ionic conductivity, resulting in better rate capability. Valence’s single-step preparative method—the Carbothermal Reduction (CTR) process—enables large-scale, low-cost manufacturing.
|The effect of Mg substitution. Click to enlarge. Source: Valence|
For the future, Valence is developing Lithium Vanadium-based Phosphate (LVP) and Lithium Vanadium-based Fluorophosphate (LVPF) systems.
PVI designs and manufactures trucks for specialized applications in small and medium sized series. The company produces 400 to 500 vehicles a year and employs a staff of 200 at its plant in Gretz, France (Seine-et-Marne). PVI is a Renault Trucks partner for alternative fuel technologies in trucks, such as CNG or full electric drivelines.
The New Energy World (Valence)