A123 Introduces New Battery Technology: Nanophosphate EXT. 90% Retention After 2K Cycles

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 8

a123'S Nanophosphate® Energy Core Pack (23kWh)

Beleaguered battery maker A123 believes they are on the cusp of an exciting new revolution in lithium batteries.

According to the company, Nanophosphate EXT™ lithium ion battery technology improves power capability at low temperature and life at high temperature, two of the biggest hurdles facing electric vehicles today, potentially reducing or eliminating the need for costly thermal management.

Nanophosphate EXT is expected to deliver increased performance and reliability while minimizing complexity and reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) over the life of the battery system.”

The new battery chemistry allows for 20-30% higher power than their existing Nanophosphate batteries, while apparently offering “superior power retention“.   The life cycle of this battery is reportedly double to triple that of its lithium peers.  Good news for those worrying about the effects of high mileage driving on their electric cars.  Testing has shown a 90% retention of initial capacity after 2,000 full charge cycles.  Impressive.

David Vieau, CEO of A123 said in a statement that the technology would “reduce or even eliminate the need for costly thermal management systems, which we expect will dramatically improve the business case for deploying A123’s lithium ion battery solutions for a significant number of applications.”

A123’s Nanophosphate EXT technology is scheduled to enter volume production during the first half of 2013.

Shares of A123 on the news traded up over 50% on the day to close at $1.58  (Quote update here)

Impressive Power Retention Specs for A123's New Tech Battery

A123 Media

8 responses to "A123 Introduces New Battery Technology: Nanophosphate EXT. 90% Retention After 2K Cycles"

  1. PhxGuy says:

    Fantastic news for my neck of the woods!

  2. Rick says:

    Could you find out if this will be in the electric Spark from GM?

    That would be a real big selling feature

  3. Brian says:

    As a clarification, how does full charge cycles map to partial charge cycles? For example, does 2000 full charge cycles equate to 2000 50% charge cycles, 4000, or something else? Or worse, is this completely chemistry-dependant? In an application such as electric cars, the batteries are going to go through partial charge cycles far more often.

    1. staff says:

      Traditionally, a 50% charge cycle over a full one in lithium iron phosphate, will end up in a net increased lifespan (expressed in total watts retained/discharged in the original application) of about 10-15% on the half cycle.

      So could look at it as 1,000 full cycles = 2,200 half cycles.

      Now this battery is claiming a 90% retention after 2,000, where existing tech would be about 80-85% after 1,000. So it basically, is allowing manufacturers to practically eliminate the ‘buffer’ zone of the battery to preserve life, while still offering greater longevity. Disruptive technology.

      ie) LEAF uses 21.4 of 24 kWh, 2013 Volt uses 10.8 of 16.5 kWh — Theoretically, by using these batteries in those applications, you could net another 12 miles of range in the LEAF, and 20 more miles in the Volt, while actually still extended the lifespan

  4. James says:

    Let’s hope this is for real and not hype and blowing smoke.

    Choosing LG over A123 for Volt’s batteries retrospectively looks like a big win for GM. What with A123 moving production to China and experiencing quality gaffs and bringing it’s entire LifePo nanophosphate chemistry into question…I’d say the EXT claims have to be greatly vetted before we buy the Kool-Aid.

    I want A123 to succeed. I was saddened that they felt forced to move production to China. I’m perplexed by the iffyness of LifePo since it’s been in power tools for some years now, seemingly worked as advertised. I looked into purchasing a LifePo Go-ped electric scooter and noticed the company pulled all it’s LifePo (nanophosphate) batteries without explanation and now only sells the much more expensive Li Ions.

    I hope EXT is a boon for A123 and they prove out to be superior. But they do have a lot to prove right now. Well publicized failures of their product are putting many people such as I on the fence, waiting to see if they’re worth our investment. One big success story like SparkEV would do a lot to heal their reputation and build trust.

  5. James says:

    The big ? mark for me is: Are A123’s current problems with their chemistry or just quality control?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Being a ‘long’ in A123, I’ve followed A123 fairly closely. I think the problems that encountered previously with their EV prismatic packs were just a one-off, but nonetheless caused by some pretty basic failings, which you can’t dismiss out of hand.

      As I understand it, the ATVML loan program gave them a bunch of money to spend on the plant in a limited amount of time, and I think they grew a little too fast for both themselves and the industry demand. The flaw got pinpointed back to a specific failure point (which is alway nice), that being a mis-aligned welding machine (1 of 4 in the plant). I would ‘guess’ the situation, and future QC is under control.

      About 90% of A123 capacity for 2012 is now produced in the US, so you shouldn’t be seeing a lot more of the Made In China stickers on their products.

      The question now is, do they have enough money to see them through to the GM Spark EV contract, and past that into this EXT chemistry? I really don’t know. 50/50 maybe.

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