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Li-ion Batterymaker Boston-Power Closes $60M in Series E Funding

Li-ion battery manufacturer Boston-Power, Inc. (earlier post), announced $60 million in Series E funding co-led by existing investors Foundation Asset Management (FAM) and Oak Investment Partners. Current investors Venrock and Gabriel Venture Partners are also participating. Boston-Power has attracted $185 million in investment since being founded in 2005.

Boston-Power will use the growth capital to scale manufacturing, sales, marketing and research and development for its Li-ion technology platform currently embodied in the company’s Sonata (targeted at notebook computers) and Swing (targeted at PHEV, BEV and utility energy storage) battery systems.

Boston-Power Swing 4400
  • Energy density: 180 Wh/L
  • Volumetric density: 420 Wh/L
  • 1,000+ cycles at 100% DOD
  • 2,000+ cycles at 90% DOD
  • Constant power: 440 W/kg
  • Pulse power: 1,500 W/kg (2s)
  • 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.

    Sonata made its debut in March 2009 through a relationship with HP, the world’s number one provider of notebook PCs. Branded as HP’s Long Life Battery, Sonata-powered battery packs are compatible with a range of consumer and commercial models available globally. On 3 June 2010, ASUS announced it will soon ship a new line of business notebooks powered by Sonata as the standard battery pack.

    In June 2009, Boston Power announced the Swing battery (earlier post), featuring high energy density (180 Wh/kg) and volumetric density (420 Wh/L) combined with industry-leading long life, safety, reliability, environmental sustainability and price/performance. These capabilities make Swing battery systems ideal for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Utility Energy Storage applications, the company says.

    In December 2009, Boston-Power announced that Saab’s new zero-emission, high performance electric vehicle, the ZE Saab 9-3, would be powered by a Swing battery system. (Earlier post.) The first vehicles under this test program will be available this fall, with more to follow in 2011. Boston-Power will unveil additional customers in the transportation and utility markets from around the world later this year, in accordance to those organizations’ respective announcement plans.

    Comments

    HarveyD

    Interesting energy density and long life 1000+ with 100% cycles.

    Another local manufacturer is welcomed.

    DaveD

    I don't see the price, but the rest of those specs are really nice. at 2000+ cycles@90%DOD, a 40kWh pack would give about 150 mile range, would weigh about 222kg, and would be good for over 300,000 miles. And it looks like it could handle some decent rapid charging with those peak power outputs. I'd bet it could take a 60-80% charge in about 15 minutes without causing any damage.

    Depending on price, that's a good set of specs for an EV. For a two car family, that would be really good second car.

    I know it won't meet everyone's needs till it can go 300 miles on a charge, rapid charge in 5 minutes, yada, yada, yada. But there are tens of millions of drivers who would be happy with these specs once they got used to it....especially when gas prices go back up.

    Herm Perez

    Those Swing cells are very interesting.. they have almost reached the long term goal set by USABC of 200wh/kg.

    It would be nice if they all used the same form factor so that battery packs could be brand and chemistry agnostic (with some software adjustments in the BMS). Are these Swing cells prismatic or pouch cells?

    SJC

    Lithium air could reach 40 kWh with four 20 pound removable attache cases. This would make the occasional battery swap convenient without requiring a fork lift.

    DaveD

    @SJC
    Actually, lithium air could do it for one 13kg brief case (assuming the 3000Wh/kg people are predicting if we ever get them working in a practical way).

    I've thought about that too. If we could get Li-Air working then a 250kWh pack would only weigh about 83kg and it would give you over a 1,000 mile range. If it only had a cycle life of 100 cycles, it would still give you 10 years worth of battery life and people could stop whining about having to stop and recharge every 200 miles for a long trip.

    DaveD

    Oh yeah...I'm assuming you could completely ignore cost per kWh there :-)

    SJC

    I was assuming 1000 Wh/kg with 10kWh per case for a weight of 10 kg or 22 pounds per. I would not mind taking out and swapping 4 small light cases every now and then to get another 150 mile range. I would normally charge at home, but if I had battery swap kiosks every where, range anxiety goes away.

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