Controversy, skepticism surround DBM 375-mile battery

Say a company claims it has a battery pack that has set an amazing range record but then the vehicle that the battery powered ends up destroyed in a warehouse fire. What would you think? Well, this is the exact scenario that DBM Energy GmbH is facing.

DBM and Lekker Energie, using funds from Germany's economy ministry, converted an Audi A2 to run on a Kolibri alpha-polymer technology battery pack. Last October, the A2 traveled 375 miles from Munich to Berlin, depleting the battery only 80%. The trip took 7 hours, resulting in a 55 mile per hour average speed.

In December, just a two short months after the impressive journey, misfortune struck and the A2 was destroyed in a warehouse fire still under investigation. According to DBM the vehicle did not have the would-be (if verified) world-record-setting battery installed at the time of the fire. Further, they intend to continue conducting "confidence-building" tests and proceed with plans to bring the Kolibri battery to market.

Adding fuel to the skepitcism are some estimates that put the cost at $1,100 to $1,400 for a mass produced 98.8 kWh version, which DBM expects to last 2,000 charge cycles or ten years. If DBM proves the skeptics wrong, their battery pack will set the bar quite high.

Lekker Mobil electric Audi A2 with DBM Energy batteries
Lekker Mobil electric Audi A2 with DBM Energy batteries
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[Source: New York Times]

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