CALSTART to test battery technology

June 18, 2013

CALSTART has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army to test 12-volt Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries in commercial trucks.

This is the first time the military 6T configuration–a standard military form factor used in a wide variety of applications–of Li-Ion batteries will be tested in commercial trucks, CALSTART said. The test will help to understand the broader uses of batteries in commercial trucks, including hotel loads, idle reduction and other auxiliary power, and whether the Li-Ion batteries can performance and reliability in multiple geographies in commercial trucks.

“Lithium-Ion battery technologies promise to hold out better in the field,” said John Boesel, CALSTART president and CEO. “In its own testing thus far, the military has found that lithium batteries last longer, resulting in fewer battery replacements and less need for inventory. If these field tests prove successful, the commercial trucking industry may, in the future, make the switch to lithium starter batteries. Higher production volumes would result in lower prices, benefiting both the military and commercial sectors.”

According to CALSTART, the specific purpose of this effort is to apply recent advances in Lithium-Ion based anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separator battery materials to electrode, cell and pack designs in order to develop 12-volt and 24-volt 6T batteries with significantly improved power and energy densities over existing lead acid alternatives. The three battery companies participating in the CALSTART-led test are Navitas Systems, EaglePicher Technologies and Saft.

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