This July A123 announced they shall be supplying BAE Systems with lithium-ion battery packs for its new HybriDrive Series to be used on municipal buses. The following day A123 signed a deal with Chinese Ray Power Systems to supply a grid energy storage system. This is great news for shareholders of A123. Share price has risen for the first time since the company announced in June that it is struggling financially.
South Korea shipped 20% more rechargeable batteries overseas in 2011 finacial year than the previous year. Of these, 56% were lithium-ion making South Korea the world’s largest exporter of lithium-ion batteries for 2011. The exports of the batteries were valued at US$3.8 billion according to the Korea Customs Service.
Progress is being made to develop EV batteries to be utilised to power homes during times of blackout. Following the 2011 Japanese earthquake much of the country was without electricity, EV batteries were used as a temporary in-home power supply. Hybrid cars that feature an invertor can have the high-voltage direct current switched to a low-voltage alternating current to supply power back to a home at times of blackout. Nissan are leading the way in advancing this potential, they believe their Leaf car could power a home for up to two days, or individual appliances for far longer.
Supercapacitors are a hot topic, serving so many functions in electric vehicles and as a universal back-up power source. Will they take centre stage in the battery world as their uses expand? And who are the leaders in this growing industry? Dr Peter Harrop gives BEST the full story in the newest issue out July 2012.