Phoenix Motorcars SUT prototype
You probably know Altair Nanotechnologies, the small lithium-ion battery producer that several years ago developed lithium titanate chemistry that can be charged/discharged in less then 10 minutes.
Proterra is using it in EcoRide BE35 electric buses, and many others tried it - like Phoenix Motorcars (before it dissappeared), LightningGT (that, to date, never hit production) etc.
Electric RaceAbout demonstration vehicle
The problem is that this kind of battery is one of the most expensive to manufacture and has low energy density (making it better suited for storage energy systems). All other factors seems to be outstanding, with life of thousands of quick charge cycles.
Lightning GT prototype
Poor sales led to the acquisition of 51% of Altair Nanotechnologies shares by Canon Investment Holdings Limited in 2010. Now, after years of quarter after quarter losses, Altair Nanotechnologies sold its Reno, NV manufacturing facility and is moving equipment and materials to China:
"In April 2013, we began to decommission our nano lithium titanate manufacturing equipment in Reno in order to prepare it for shipment to Northern Altair in mid-May 2013."
Northern Altair is the Northern Altair Nanotechnologies Co., Ltd. subsidiary that will produce batteries in China, probably mainly for China customers.
The current battery market is flooded by overcapacity and this does not help battery manufacturers as several continue to report losses.
Lets look at some videos from better times, when Altairnano was hoping for a bright future in US.