Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC) is setting its sights on China and the wider Asian market for its bipolar lead-acid technology, after signing a memorandum of cooperation with China’s Fengfan.
The memorandum US-based ABC signed with Fengfan, one of China’s biggest lead-acid manufacturers, sets out the firms’ “joint desire to develop bipolar lead batteries for the Chinese market”— but details have yet to be released.
ABC’s vice-president of business development, Don Hobday, told BEST Battery Briefing: “This is another big step forward for the technology and proves it has value in China.”
And Hobday added: “This is not the only announcement you will see coming from China in the near future from ABC.”
Hobday said ABC “is now tilting away from North America and global battery manufacturers” having already licensed its technology to four major battery makers— Trojan, JCI, Enersys and Exide Industries in India.
“Those licensees have had a year, or year-and-a-half or so now, adopting the technology,” Hobday said. “So as our resources become freed up, we going to pivot towards the next largest target markets which are China and the rest of Asia.”
“Ultimately our strategy is to license our technology to many of the major battery manufacturers worldwide.”
Exide Industries said earlier this year that the erratic price movement in lead had prompted it to go for developing bipolar in association with ABC.
Bipolar battery technology makes lead-acid batteries lighter, more cost-efficient and consume less lead, the company said.
“This will be a disruptive technology,” Exide MD Gautam Chatterjee said after the company’s annual general meeting in Kolkata.
BBB reported last May that Fengfan and scientists in China had developed a lead-carbon battery storage system for solar power, with a cycle life “more than four times that of conventional lead technology”.