Electric car pioneer ZAP (News - Alert) and lithium-polymer and nanotech battery developer Advanced Battery Technologies Inc. have opened a joint development office in Beijing to expand their research, manufacturing and marketing of advanced batteries for electric cars using the latest in nanotechnology.
ZAP recently agreed to acquire $5.168 million in lithium-polymer and nanotech batteries from Advance Battery Technologies for use in ZAP's line of XEBRA electric cars and trucks as well as other vehicles and battery systems. The deal was struck after a meeting between ZAP CEO Steve Schneider and Advanced Battery Technologies chairman Zhigou Fu.
"After spending a great deal of time with Mr. Fu, we believe he is a true visionary with the desire to improve the environment through technology," said Schneider in a statement. "We are looking forward to testing these new batteries in our ZAP cars, trucks, motorbikes and other vehicles."
Advanced Battery Technologies is using nanotechnology to create a new generation of lithium-polymer batteries with a higher energy density while improving the performance, life expectancy and safety.
Lithium ion batteries have been a leading technology for electric cars for years. While the technology has been proven in smaller formats, it was found to be less stable in larger formats. Because they are inert, nanoparticles do not sulfate in reaction with the chemistry of lithium-polymer batteries, unlike conventional graphite electrode materials.
According to the companies, nanotechnology helps produce a more stable battery system, allowing larger format lithium batteries with a safer, more robust chemistry. These smaller, nanoparticles also create a greater surface area -- up to 100 times greater -- allowing a faster, shorter-distance transmission of electrons in and out of the battery, boosting energy density while increasing the charge and discharge rate for improved performance.
Moreover, the more stable battery chemistry increases the battery’s life expectancy, with an estimated cycle life of more than 1000 charges, more than double that of conventional batteries. For an electric car, this results in a 3 to 5 x improvement in electric vehicle range and speed, and faster charging times.
Spencer Chin is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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