A123 zeros in on stop/start hybrids with 12V li-ion nanophosphate battery

A123 Systems is looking to cash in on the emerging stop/start hybrid market with its 12V Nanophosphate lithium-ion battery. Compared to typical lead-acid AGM batteries, A123 says that its li-ion units offer enhanced charge acceptance, which reduces the load on the vehicle's alternator and engine, leading to improved fuel economy. In addition, Jeff Kessen, A123's vice president of automotive marketing and communication, claims that the firm's 12V li-ion battery weighs 60 percent less than a lead-acid one.

Kessen claims that test results in buses have shown that A123's li-ion batteries last up to six years in stop/start applications. For the sake of comparison, Kessen says that lead-acid AGM batteries have a life expectancy of under two years in grueling stop/start applications. A123's 12V li-ion battery utilizes the firms AMP20 prismatic cells, which have a power density of more than 2,400 W/kg and a nominal voltage is 3.3V.

Recently, A123 Systems entered into a production contract with a major, unnamed OEM on a stop/start system. The battery maker says that it's in the development stages with four other automakers.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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