Li-ion Manufacturer Boston-Power Names Former GM Senior Executive Bob Purcell to Board; Expansion Into Transportation With a Focus on PHEVs and BEVs
|In the transportation sector, Boston-Power is targeting its high-energy, long-life cells at plug-in hybrid and full battery electric vehicles. Click to enlarge.|
Li-ion manufacturer Boston-Power, Inc., announced that former GM executive Robert C. Purcell, Jr. has joined its board of directors. Working closely with Boston-Power's executive team and fellow board members, Purcell is applying his expertise in battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to help drive the deployment of Boston-Power’s batteries into the transportation sector.
From 1994 to 2002, Purcell led the GM Advanced Technology Vehicles Group (GM ATV). GM ATV was responsible for the development and production of the GM EV-1; his organization also developed and produced the S-10 Electric Truck and developed the GM Precept Hybrid Vehicle, which was part of President Clinton’s Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) program. In addition to his responsibilities at GM ATV, he also served as chairman of the GM-Ovonic Advanced Battery Joint Venture.
Purcell currently serves as founder and president of Purcell & Associates, LLC, a senior advisory group specializing in advanced automotive and alternative energy investment projects. His clients have included companies ranging from MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, to EDC Automotive, an emerging leader in automotive thermal management systems.
Boston-Power is bringing to the transportation industry a game-changing lithium-ion battery that delivers unmatched levels of high energy density, safety, low cost, fast charge and environmental sustainability. As a pioneer in the electrification of transportation, Bob Purcell brings a perfect combination of invaluable insights, real-world experiences, and an established, international executive network to our company. We’re thrilled to add him to our team.—Boston-Power Founder and CEO Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud
I’ve been looking for a battery like Boston-Power’s for 20 years. I knew immediately upon meeting the team and reviewing the technology platform that I wanted to play a role within the company. In addition to being in mass production and embodying the right combination of capabilities in terms of extended range, weight and space, safety, cost and quick recharge, Boston-Power’s batteries are the only ones to earn stringent certifications for environmental sustainability. They’re already being well received by the auto industry and I’m confident they will be adopted for a range of vehicles by manufacturers around the world.—Bob Purcell
|Boston-Power is focused on delivering the high energy density and long deep discharge cycle life that it says are critical for the continued evolution towards higher degrees of hybridization and BEVs. Click to enlarge.|
Boston-Power technology. Boston-Power’s battery technology platform is based on a flat, oval-shaped prismatic cell design with external dimensions equivalent to two conventional 18650 lithium-ion cells. Boston-Power currently uses cobalt and manganese on the cathode with graphite on the anode. 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.
The company has so far introduced two products from this platform:
Sonata cells for notebook and portable power applications. The Sonata cells offer 3x - 5x longer battery service life than competitors in this market. In March 2009, Boston-Power became the first US-based firm to provide batteries to a Tier One notebook PC vendor: HP.
Sonata cycle life. Click to enlarge.
- Energy density of 180Wh/kg
- Volumetric density of 420Wh/L
- 1,000+ cycles at 100% Depth Of Discharge (DOD)
- 2,000+ cycles at 90% DOD
- Constant power of 440W/kg
- Pulse power of 1,500 W/kg (2s pulse)
- Flexible and scalable packaging
- Excellent thermal properties
- Nordic Ecolabel and Chinese EPA CEC Ecolabel accreditation for chemical control during manufacturing and in the final product
- UL, UN, and ROHS certifications
|Boston Power Swing 12 kWh Escape PHEV Demonstrator|
Boston-Power intends to leverage its experience from the Portable Power industry into Transportation. Boston-Power cells are in mass production today in its manufacturing facilities in Asia, with the capacity to scale to millions of cells per month. (The company says it has had zero field failures so far.)
In 2009, Boston-Power developed a Ford Escape plug-in demonstrator equipped with a 12 kWh pack. In December 2009, the company became part of a Swedish electric automobile coalition established to drive the advancement of high performance electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) In addition to Boston-Power, participating organizations include Saab; Electroengine (electric powertrain); Innovatum (project management); and Power Circle (Sweden’s electric power industry trade organization).
Prior to the announcement of his appointment, Purcell told Green Car Congress that while many of the OEMs have selected the source for their first program, few of them are fixed—Toyota being at least one notable exception—in terms of strategic battery supply.
What I am doing is providing a set of introductions to the right people around the industry who are interested in looking at alternative batteries. What I like about Boston-Power...I really believe they made the best set of tradeoffs in terms of the battery systems. It is high energy density in terms of the basic chemistry of the battery, they have packaged it in a way that they can leverage the volume base they have already created in terms of portable power. They have done an outstanding job, in my opinion, in safety design...They have the best chance of actually surviving the automotive application for the lifecycle of the vehicle.—Bob Purcell