A123 Systems acquires lithium titanate and Li-imide electrolyte technology from Leyden Energy; micro-hybrid focus
A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, has acquired Leyden Energy’s intellectual property in battery materials covering lithium titanate (LTO) and non-flammable electrolyte (Li-imide) developments for an undisclosed amount. As a part of the deal, key technical staff of Leyden Energy have also agreed to join A123 Systems’ R&D organization.
Leyden is the recent recipient of significant development funding from United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), an organization whose members include Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors. (Earlier post.) Under that program, Leyden achieved progress on development of its technology for micro-hybrid (i.e., start-stop vehicles, SSVs) applications in the automotive market. In particular, the inherent LTO properties of long cycle life and exceptional power capability were extended to operate over a substantially wider temperature range.
Leyden’s Li-imide electrolyte does not react with water nor generate hydrofluoric acid, making it far more resistant to heat. This not only has enabled higher energy density and longer cycle life for legacy carbon-based active materials (anode and cathode), Leyden said, but permits the development of new chemistries with high energy density active materials, including silicon anodes.
Building on the proprietary Li-imide platform, Leyden Energy developed an innovative LTO/LMO battery specifically designed for start/stop applications. Leyden said that its Li-Imide start/stop battery:
Can deliver a lot of power over a wide temperature range;
Can recharge rapdily (critical for recovering regenerative braking energy);
Has very long cycle life and calendar life performance fully supporting vehicle warranty programs;
Is inexpensive and simple to integrate into a vehicle because there is no need for complex battery management systems; and
Is small in size and light weight.
The acquisition of Leyden’s technology in this field complements the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) materials portfolio that A123 commercialized nearly a decade ago under the Nanophosphate trade name. Recently, the A123 research and development organization has also extended the high power capability of its LFP-based materials under the UltraPhosphate trade name. A123 said that, taken together, these developments and the acquisition of Leyden’s intellectual property demonstrate its strong commitment to meeting and exceeding the technical requirements of micro-hybrid applications around the world.
A123 Systems LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanxiang Group.