Boston-Power Pursuing $100M in Federal Funds for Li-Ion Plant in Massachusetts; Introduces High-Energy “Swing” for EVs and PHEVs
Boston-Power, Inc., maker of the long-lasting, fast-charging Sonata Li-ion battery for laptops, is planning to build a 455,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Auburn, Massachusetts that would complement its existing China-based operations. The company is also applying its battery technology in the new high-energy Swing Li-ion cell for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
With support from Massachusetts officials, Boston-Power is seeking approximately $100 million under the US Department of Energy’s advanced battery and cell manufacturing grant program established as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The company is also pursuing funds through a proposed program allocation in the FY10 federal budget under the Defense Production Act, which encourages the building of manufacturing facilities in the United States that are important for national security reasons.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will offer up to $9 million in matching financing to support the company’s planned manufacturing operation in Auburn.
Boston-Power in March became the first US-based firm to provide battery technology (the Sonata) to a Tier One notebook PC vendor: HP. Boston-Power said that it will be providing more detail about the Swing high-energy transportation battery in the future, but noted that it offers :
|Select USABC commercialization goals for EV batteries. Source: USABC. Click to enlarge.|
- Energy density of 180 Wh/kg
- Volumetric density of 420 Wh/L
- High constant power of 440 W/kg
- Pulse power of 1500 W/kg (2s pulse)
- More than 1,000 cycles at 100% Depth Of Discharge (DOD); more than 2,000 cycles at 90% DOD; and more than 7,000 cycles at 60% DOD
- Flexible and scalable packaging
- Excellent thermal properties
- Nordic Ecolabel accreditation
Boston-Power uses cobalt and manganese on the cathode with graphite on the anode. Its battery technology platform is based on a flat, oval-shaped prismatic cell design with external dimensions equivalent to two conventional 18650 lithium-ion cells. Each cell incorporates multiple, independent safety devices located in different areas of the cell. The design of each safety component is optimized independent of the other components, and the distributed location eliminates unwanted interactions between them.
One of the safety devices is the integrated Current Interrupt Device (CID), which electrically disconnects the cell if internal pressures get too high. In addition, the cell can is constructed from aluminum, supporting a low pressure design which allows safety components to activate earlier, minimizing the chance that the cell will enter thermal runaway. The activation pressure and tolerances of each of the components are designed to prevent inadvertent activation. In addition, there are two vents on the side of the can for redundancy, minimizing the chance of cascading failures in a multi-cell pack.
Founded in 2005 and with more than 60 patents filed, Boston-Power is led by Founder and CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud. The company has raised $125 million in venture funding from Foundation Asset Management, Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners.