CALSTART to evaluate Navitas Systems' military-grade batteries in highway trucks

Date
05/24/2013

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Navitas Systems, a leading provider of energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers, announced that it has signed a contract to supply prototypes of its upcoming 6T lithium battery for use by CALSTART in assessing the efficacy of this advanced battery in hot and cold weather testing on Class 8 highway trucks. The 6T battery is commonly used in military vehicles, and to-date has been based on lead acid chemistry. The Navitas 6T prototype batteries embody the same physical form factor, but utilize advanced lithium iron phosphate chemistry, offering greater cycle and calendar life, discharge run time, recharge speed, amp-hour throughput over life, all at half the weight of lead acid. CALSTART is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the growth of an advanced transportation technologies industry that creates high-quality jobs, cleans the air, reduces dependence on foreign oil and seeks to prevent global warming. One of CALSTART's programs, the High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum (HTUF) program, was developed in partnership with the U.S. Army National Automotive Center (NAC). HTUF is the nation's leading program driving production and use of medium- and heavy-duty high-efficiency trucks and buses. HTUF is a national program operated by CALSTART in partnership with and under contract to the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) National Automotive Center. TARDEC recently announced an award to CALSTART for the testing of three advanced lithium chemistry batteries on commercial trucks. This important program will help assess the potential of lithium chemistries, specifically to apply recent advances in lithium-ion based anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separator battery materials to electrode, cell and pack designs in order to develop twelve (12) volt (12-V) and twenty-four (24) volt (24-V) 6T form-factor military-vehicle batteries with significantly improved power and energy densities over existing lead acid alternatives. The effort focuses on the development of current commercial Lithium-Ion battery technologies (Gen 1) of the three (3) competing sub-electrochemistries from the three (3) domestic manufacturers into military 6T form factor battery packs for evaluations by integrating into both commercial and military trucking fleets for performance testing and field data collection. The field testing activities are designed so that the prototype battery technology can achieve a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) level 6. "We are excited to receive this contract from CALSTART," said Alan ElShafei, Chairman of Navitas Systems. "Since we took over the further engineering of the 6T prototypes following the acquisition of the Government R&D division of A123 Systems, our team has made numerous improvements in the packaging and onboard electronics systems. We look forward to CALSTART and the US Army becoming the first in the world to receive these newest battery prototypes. We believe that if it's strong enough to start a tank as well as run its electronics with the key-off, our batteries will be terrific in commercial trucks," ElShafei concluded. "We will be evaluating three different lithium chemistries under contract with the U.S. Army, of which Navitas is one," said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel. "This important test and evaluation program will help evaluate the potential of lithium technology -- in a module form standard to the military -- to function as both a 'starter battery' and to support accessory loads in commercial trucks." Navitas Systems

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