Chrysler LLC Forms Strategic Alliance with A123Systems for First Generation of ENVI Electric Vehicle Lineup
|A123Systems 20Ah prismatic cell. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler LLC and A123Systems have signed an agreement stating that A123Systems will supply Nanophosphate lithium-ion prismatic cells, and jointly developed battery modules and packs, for Chrysler’s first-generation ENVI Range-extended Electric Vehicles and battery-only Electric Vehicles.
A123Systems has applied for $1.84 billion in direct loans from the US Department of Energy’s ATVMIP program to support the construction of new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in the United States, with the first construction location in southeast Michigan. There, the company will manufacture the cells, modules and battery packs for Chrysler LLC. (Earlier post.)
|“We’re confident that our collaboration with Chrysler will serve as proof that American innovation is alive and well and ready to lead the new global market for fuel-efficient electric vehicles.”|
—David Vieau, President and CEO A123Systems
The heart of ENVI’s battery system is a scalable battery module, as demonstrated in ENVI’s five electric-drive vehicles showcased at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Earlier post.)
The five vehicles included the Dodge Circuit EV, Jeep Wrangler EV, Jeep Patriot EV, Chrysler Town & Country EV and the Chrysler 200C EV concept. At the reveal, Chrysler announced its intention to bring the company’s first production electric vehicle to market in 2010.
|A123Systems module. Click to enlarge.|
A proprietary battery management safety system helps create an efficient and flexible energy storage solution. This strategy is integrated in all of Chrysler’s upcoming electric-drive vehicles, helping increase production volumes of the shared battery cell and shared battery modules.
Chrysler says its approach reduces development time, investment, and overall battery system cost by combining the economics of high-volume component sharing without sacrificing the battery pack flexibility needed to develop a wide range of customer-driven electric-drive vehicles.
Chrysler has worked with A123Systems, both directly and through USCAR, for more than three years to improve the technology for automotive applications, said Lou Rhodes, Vice President-Advanced Vehicle Engineering and President of ENVI.
Chrysler is also partnering with GE to demonstrate an economically viable OEM-integrated dual-battery PHEV technology within the next 3-5 years. (Earlier post.) GE will develop the dual battery energy storage system. Chrysler will be responsible for the vehicle integration piece. It is expected to be a $20 million project, with GE and Chrysler contributing the industry cost-share of $10 million, and DOE providing $10 million.
A123Systems was one of the providers under consideration to supply cells for the Chevrolet Volt. GM awarded the initial contract to LG Chem and CPI. (Earlier post.) A123Systems originally used only cylindrical cell formats with its doped iron phosphate chemistry, and began work on prismatic formats in conjunction with its work with GM.
SAIC and A123Systems. Last week, Delphi Corporation announced an agreement reached to supply hybrid technology to China’s SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor) for a mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The technology will include an air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack designed and integrated by Delphi using cells from A123Systems.
The upcoming SAIC Hybrid Electric Vehicle is expected to hit the market as early as in 2010. Delphi’s mild hybrid vehicle product is designed for easy electrical and mechanical integration into existing vehicles and includes a hybrid control unit, inverter motor drive and controller, DC/DC converter, battery pack and controls, battery disconnect, and thermal management subsystems. SAIC Motor is responsible for the vehicle-level system integration, hybrid control strategy and development of the software in the project.