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A123 Systems introduces Gen3 Li-ion 12V starter battery; 25% greater cold-cranking power (voltage corrected)

Gen3 SB A123 web
12V Li-Start battery. Click to enlarge.

Li-ion battery developer and manufacturer A123 Systems has introduced the third generation of its 12 Volt Starter Battery in its Li-Start product line.

Every component of this third-generation battery system has been optimized for low voltage automotive applications. Together these advances, known as A123’s new UltraPhosphate technology, have achieved more than 25% greater cold cranking power and result in a product that significantly outperforms the best lead-acid batteries in industry standard cranking tests. The Gen 3 battery is also smaller than its predecessors.

Product Specs
Capacity 60 Ah
Cold cranking (-18 ºC) 900 A
Weight 10 kg
Voltage, nominal 31.2 V 13.2 V
Operating temp. -30 ºC to 50 ºC
Storage temp. -40 ºC to 60 ºC
Dimensions (LN3) 278x175x190 mm

A123 began production of its original starter battery design in 2011 and now has supply relationships with 5 different vehicle manufacturers in Europe, with the majority having already launched vehicle production.

The company continues to invest to meet the increasing market demand and is currently expanding production capacity for its starter battery product line.

A123’s 12V starter battery not only offers outstanding cranking power but also enables brake energy recuperation, increased cycle life (more than 4X longer life than lead acid), and charge acceptance, providing the micro-hybrid market with a progressive solution. Micro-hybrids can be defined as vehicles that require advanced 12V batteries to power start-stop systems and store electricity from regenerative braking.


These systems offer fuel economy and emissions gains at modest incremental cost and are steadily migrating from performance and luxury vehicles to the mainstream market, particularly in Europe.

In addition, the battery weighs half as much as a comparable lead-acid battery thereby supporting OEM light-weighting goals, further contributing to achievement of fuel efficiency and emissions regulations globally. In total, the system can facilitate as much as a 10% efficiency and emissions gain when compared to a conventional powertrain, according to the company.



A better, longer lasting and much lighter battery should find its way into all vehicles to improve overall vehicle efficiency, even if the initial cost is higher.


"A123’s 12V starter battery not only offers outstanding cranking power but also enables brake energy recuperation, & increased cycle life (more than 4X longer life than lead acid)".

Smart move by A123 to develop a Li-ion starter battery which solves the problem of Li-ion cold-cranking performance.

It will be interesting to see if A123 can build up market share in starter battery sales.


Well if it can survive more than five years and hostile under the hood conditions without a thermal management system....

I was thinking that cold cranking of today's engines assisted by computer controlled ignition and fuel injection have already made winter starts significantly less problematic. That vulnerable first early morning start could be avoided, IMO, if all vehicles for use within the snow belt were equipped with block heaters.

Even so subsequent starts with a warm engine and lower friction are less demanding on the battery anyway.

Someone must tell me what I am missing since Li-ion is going to be priced well above $250 per Kwh.

All the cars I have owned in the last 40 years have had the block heater supplied as a dealer fitted option.

Here in SW Ontario we have come away with a record 48 days this winter where the temperature never rose above freezing.

Jim McLaughlin

"Voltage, nominal 31.2 V"

What am I missing? Is this really a 12 volt battery and that's just a typo?


It should read 13.2V

Marcel Garcia Gabriel

Seems a great advance, but what about the price?


900 CCA is a bit much for most cars. It will be interesting to see if this takes off and they start to build them in different sizes, because my little MR2 could easily get away with a battery half this size.

And I'm with Jim Mc. on this one...what's up with the 31.2V??? Overkill or a typo?

Anyway, I'm happy to see A123 doing this and hope it pans out. If they get one in a better size for me, I'd definitely spend more up front to get one.


You guys have a typo....I went to their website and it's not 31.2V it's 13.2V

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