AUBURN HILLS — ALTe Thursday announced a long-term supply agreement with A123 Systems for complete lithium ion battery packs to be integrated into ALTe’s range-extended hybrid electric powertrain systems.
Built on A123’s advanced Nanophosphate technology, the 21.6-kilowatt-hour packs are designed to deliver high power, greater usable energy, long life and increased safety, forming a critical part of the ALTe powertrain. The packs will be matched with a four-cylinder engine, electric motors and proprietary controls modules to increase fuel economy by up to 200 percent.
“We selected A123 Systems as a primary supplier of lithium ion battery technology because the company’s cost-competitive, high-quality solutions meet the rigorous performance, safety and durability needs of our powertrain platform,” said ALTe CEO John Thomas. “With A123’s battery packs as an integral part of our systems, we will be able to provide a compelling hybrid retrofit solution that can exceed both the power and efficiency demands of the fleet market.”
The ALTe powertrain is targeted toward the light truck market (including full size pickups and vans) with a focus on commercial, government and utility fleets. The system is expected to provide an initial 30 miles of driving in an all-electric mode, and an estimated additional 270 miles in a charge-sustained mode before the vehicle would need to be either refueled or plugged in. The A123 battery pack can be charged within an eight-hour timeframe from a 110-volt outlet or in about four hours from a 220-volt outlet.
In addition to significant fuel economy savings, the system increases the vehicle’s torque while offering similar cargo capacity, horsepower and towing capability compared to trucks with the original V8 engine. ALTe expects to begin accepting purchase orders by the end of 2011 and plans to start installing its electric powertrain systems in summer 2012.
“We believe that ALTe’s innovative powertrain systems will enable organizations to cost-effectively hybridize their fleets of light trucks to realize the significant economic, environmental and operational benefits of electrification,” said Jason Forcier, vice president of A123’s Automotive Solutions Group. “We consider our nanophosphate lithium ion battery packs to be optimal for this application, and look forward to a long-term relationship with ALTe helping its customers realize the fuel economy improvements and total cost of ownership advantages that electrification offers over trucks with conventional powertrains.”
ALTe is the developer of a Range Extended Electric Powertrain used to repower light commercial vehicles. The system will be retrofit into existing fleet vehicles as well as used in “glider” applications of new vehicles to dramatically increase their fuel economy and lower emissions. Designed to replace a base V-8 internal combustion engine powertrain, the system’s patented technology improves fuel economy from 80 percent to 200 percent.
More at www.altept.com.
A123 recently celebrated hiring its 1,000th Michigan employee. The Massachusetts-based company has battery manufacturing plants in Livonia and Romulus.