• Jan 25th 2008 at 9:36AM
  • 23
One of Firefly's newest batteries, called the Oasis Group 31, is on target for a summer release date. These batteries were unveiled in October, and AutoblogGreen reader Sean says that he's been paying attention this deep-discharge battery and that, " All of us with EVs are quite interested as these promise to double the range, quadruple the life, and weigh a bit less to boot!" Don't worry, Sean's quite aware that there's a real good chance that the Oasis Group 31 batteries will bring with them a substantial price increase, but when is that not the case when we're talking about new high-power vehicle batteries?
Firefly has named the foam technology inside the batteries Microcell™, and says they are:

changing the rules of the road [...] Compared to lead plates - one of the main components of most conventional truck batteries – patented Microcell technology delivers longer service life, increased energy efficiency and better performance under extreme conditions. [...] Oasis' unique design resists sulfation and corrosion (two of the primary causes of failure in lead-acid batteries), while dramatically increasing the surface area within the battery, resulting in greater energy capacity, faster recharges, and deeper discharge capability...

Looks like we only have a half year or so to see for ourselves.

[Source: Firefly h/t to Sean]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Cycle Life!!! is the major advantage of these batteries. Perhaps slighly lower weight and improved low temperature starting are also available. Standard form factor and AGM construction allows an easy market entrance. I would try to fit one into any vehicle that I had even if it doubled the market value of the vehicle. A specialized DC-DC converter would allow the use of one or more in a Prius to extend the full electric operation range. Each unit has about 1200 watt hours in it or 6 miles according to Calcars and others. Ten would give you 60 miles for 700 pounds. Lighter weight bipolar 150 volt units, like EFFPOWER made and Atraverda threatens to make, could even have less weight. Chemical equations show that the electrolyte takes more than five times the volume of the active lead material all other lead is inefficient heavy conductors. Copper was used in some negative plates a few years back. Bipolar batteries get rid of the need for a lot of conductors and are best employed where high voltages are wanted as in the Prius. Ordinary cars with these batteries could be modified to charge their batteries mostly at home to save gasoline and never on the road except when braking or on very long trips.

      Full electric cars should always have at least a small backup gasoline powered generator built into one corner or more with a few gallons of stable Butanol fuel available for emergency use. A 800 watt, one horsepower unit could keep a small car with a large battery rolling in pace with most city traffic. The OPOC can produce 13 HP and weighs only 13 pounds. Some RCV model airplane engines and others can produce nearly a horsepower or more at high speeds. There are some generators that run at 100,000 RPM right now. Refined petroleum liquid products are the lightest weight cheap energy storage system; the cost of producing hydrogen and the weight of the high pressure tanks need to store it and the weight of the fuel cells may be more than some battery systems. The Zebra battery used in the introductory models of the TH!NK car is perfect for a commuter car used every day. The Little Old Lady from Pasadena who drives to church and the store once a week would be well served by Firefly. Go Granny Go!...HG...
      • 8 Months Ago
      Bioburner, where did you get the "170 Wh/Kg" figure from? All I was able to find on the Firefly website was some vague comments about "50% improvement" or "doubling the energy". That would imply a figure somewhere between 30 to 60 Wh/Kg, an improvement over standard lead acid and within striking distance of NiMH, but well short of any form of LiIon battery.

      Even with that limited energy density, there will still be plenty of uses for these cells, particularly when low cost trumps performance and range. I forsee use in low cost hybrids and PHEVs, also retrofitted NEVs with improved range and/or better performance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When based on a cost/return, these may be better in MANY EV applications than Li-ion.

      Let the best tech competitor win.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Per Firefly's promotion flier, they are only claiming a " >50%" improvement in cycle life. While this is vastly improves current Pb batteries, I have a feeling this battery only partially utalises Firefly's energy technology; and allows them to bring the technology to market in a conservative fasion.

      What really excites me for Firefly is PHEV conversions(of the sort that raises a Prius to >100mpg for average commutes) could be done for under $1,500-$2,000 or so plus cost of control electronics, I figure.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This battery technology could be a serious alternative to lithium or nickle metal hydride batteries for BEVs and PHEVs. The companies web site says thay can eliminate 70% of the lead in a traditional Pb/acid battery and increase the energy capacity of the battery to 170 WH/Kg up from 30WH/Kg conventional Pb acid battery. They also claim they can produce this battery for 1/5 the cost of a Lithium or nickle type batteries.
      I LIKE the 1/5 the cost part.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Okay, it's now 7 months after the last post...anyone actually tried to contact the Firefly companies and find out who their distributors are?

      I am guessing that they will want to see their batteries adopted rapidly to get market share. So let's deluge them with requests and show them the demand is--or will be --out there.

      I am interested in PHEV conversion ("Prius+") as the best way to get the best features of an electric car plus ICE. I roll my eyes at all the people of the the do-it-yourself electric crowd--you guys are going to spend thousands of dollars to create a lumbering, overweight retrofitted car that will probably rot away in your front yards--like with all the other cars you have ever owned--and will be at best a poor excuse for a golf cart.

      I know--I used to own a South Coast Technology Electric Vehicle, (SCT EV), aka a VW rabbit conversion-- that had its storage space crammed with convertional 6 volt PB Acid abtteries. As an engineer I loved it, but as a commuter car to my work at a power company HQ or the nuclear plant I worked at it left a LOT to be desired, and I ended up donating to Syracuse University 20 years ago to be the nucleus of their Electric Vehicle Research program (guess I helped to invent the modern Hybrid, in a way). the constant replacement of "old " PbA cells really gets OLD, guys .

      Conversions are dead anyway, guys. they were dead 20 years ago when I donated my SCT EV.

      Get a life--if you want an electric car, buy the cheapest '04 to '07 Prius you can and put in a parallel set of Firefly batteries and Cal Cars Prius+ conversion kit and you can get an honest 100 mpg vehicle that you can drive anywhere, all year.( http://www.eaa-phev.org/wiki/PriusPlus).

      If you are a real do-it-youselfer, you can probably get by with a $2,000 tag for the entire conversion, including the Firefly batteries that will take you 25-30 miles on total electric and another 20 miles or so on mixed electric/hybrid. If you commute 50 miles a day that still gives you 120 mpg assuming that the car gets 50 mpg when running in Hybrid mode.

      Considering that all the little Vespa scooters running around here in Miami Beach only get 60 mpg, that's a pretty good deal.

      I am not trying to bash my fellow EV enthuisiasts, but it's time to be practical. An overweight conversion using antiquated battery technology is going to suck up your moey in totally antiquated technology.

      I am gung-ho on the idea of doing a Prius+ conversion and hence my serious question for tech-savvy EV enthusiasts out there. Accoridng to the web link above, the cost of the Prius plug-in conversion can be anywhere from $2300 to 6000 depending on the abtteries and the charger. They list on-board chargers running from $800 to 2600.which is about 35-40% of the total conversion cost at the various option levels.

      Ya gotta be kidding, right?

      Why does a charger cost so much? I can get a 12 volt battery charger for $30. Can't I put 10 of them in series (okay I am kidding)...but there must be other 120 volt power supplies for batteries that are than that, even if we have to built them ourselves?? Anyone have any sources out there??
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mike Z, per Firefly's website, they clearly indicate the availability of the battery will NOT be for conversions; merely corporations. Conversions are a possibility for the individual consumer but not for a couple of years. See FAQs.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Yes, But Firefly seeing that the OASIS battery is marketed at truckers, there have to be distributors set up to carry replacement batteries.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Has anyone seen or done any testing on this battery? Who if anyone is really testing this thing? So far, all I have seen is Hype.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am not doubting that the power output wone be better and maybe charging and life expectancy.. that said.. 100aH for 70lbs.. thats no better than AGM UPS batteries. Powersonic PS-121000 is 100 aH at 68.9 lbs. I thought there was supposed to be a huge savings in wieght?
        • 8 Months Ago
        Look more closely...the OASIS batteries are rated for 100Ah at C/10 compared to C/20 like every other PbA battery. Comparing apples to apples, that means the OASIS is more like 190Ah @ 70 lbs. at the C/20 rate. Hence, roughly double the capacity.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'd like to see more companies pushing the cost/performance envelope for lead technology.

      It must put pricing pressure on NhMi and Lithium ion. Consumers should eventually get a better deal for energy storage.

      I guess they will test the market by pricing them slightly discounted to NhMi. If they are genuinely competive in the PHEV market, we will see better pricing when they ramp up and go for market share.

      Then we might see Li ion slashing prices - roll on!
      • 8 Months Ago
      This battery technology was first patented by Alvin Snaper of Tang and IBM Selectric fame. This technology was licensed to Power Technology, PWTC. Members of of the scientific team took certain aspects of the technology with them to FireFly which had the capital to further refine existing patent rights.

      "Mr. Alvin Snaper has served as a Senior Consultant to other major corporations and organizations, including IBM, General Foods, NASA, Boeing, Gillette, Singer, U.S. Air Force, Rocketdyne, General Motors, Lockheed Aircraft, Sanyo, Philips, Gulf Western, Union Carbide, etc. He has been awarded more than 600 patents, many for significant industrial products and processes. Some of his inventions and commercial products include the IBM Selectric Type Ball, Tang, the NASA Apollo Photo- Pack, Coating Process for Gillette Razor Blades, and the Electrostatic Painting Process & System for Auto Components Assemblies for General Motors, to name a few. Mr. Alvin Snaper holds the single honor and individual distinction of being recognized three times with 'Best Patent of the Year' award by Design News magazine, and is the author of numerous technical and scientific papers.

      Alvin Snaper is or has been a member the following professional societies and organizations: Who's Who of American Inventors 1990-1991; VIP Electronic Improvement Program; American Ordnance Association. He is a former consultant in ultrasonics to the Library of Congress, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, International Scientific Society and The Society of Photographic Instrumental Engineers."
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