Smith Electric Vehicles taps A123 for batteries

Smith Electric Vehicles will buy batteries from A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, according to a recent announcement from A123

Smith Electric Vehicles will buy batteries from A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate lithium ion batteries and systems, according to a recent announcement from A123. The company expects to begin shipping its 5kWh automotive-class prismatic modules to Smith for integration into battery packs in the second half of 2011.

According to Smith, A123’s battery technology will be first implemented in the Smith Newton truck, an all-electric, 7.5 ton (16,535 GVWR)–15 ton (33,000 GVWR) vehicle that has been commercialized globally.

“We selected A123 Systems as a strategic supplier of lithium ion battery technology because it offers cost-competitive, high-quality solutions that meet the performance, safety and life requirements for our electric vehicles,” said Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. “The highly scalable, building-block design of A123’s modules also enables us to build customized battery packs to meet individual customers’ range specifications. This allows our customers to maximize the performance of their electric vehicles while realizing a faster return on investment.”

Smith’s customers include Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo), Staples, Coca-Cola, Sainsbury’s and Dairy Crest, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps.

“The addition of Smith Electric Vehicles to our growing portfolio of blue-chip customers reinforces our position as a leading provider of lithium ion battery technology for heavy-duty and commercial transportation applications,” said Jason Forcier, vice president of the Automotive Solutions Group at A123. “The long-term economic, environmental and operational benefits of fleet electrification can only be fully achieved with the right battery technology, and we believe that the performance capabilities and modular design of our systems make A123’s solutions optimal for commercial transportation applications. We expect that our systems will enable Smith to deliver vehicles that offer significant fuel economy improvements and total cost of ownership advantages over trucks with conventional powertrains.”

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