The batteries are good enough – at least A123 Systems has batteries that will make the cut and there are likely more to come. A123 Systems is shipping their lithium based technology to Black and Decker for their professional line of power tools. These tools are said to be even more powerful than corded tools and charge up as fast as 12 minutes.

Just to make the point a motorcycle sportsman has gotten his hands on some and has installed them in his dragster type motorcycle. Now before you click to watch keep in mind that this is reported to be battery power alone without super capacitors making up the fast discharge. What is happening in the video is the rider has locked the front wheel and spun the rear to heat the rear tire surface up so its grip to maximized. Then he will launch for a ¼ mile in a little bit over 8.2 seconds getting past 155 mph by the end. OK:

This link is to the search “electric motorcycle dragster.” You can run searches of your own on, but this will get you started.

A Crushed A123 Battery Cell

A123 Systems has also embedded their technology at GM for the Volt thought to be coming out in a year or so. The A123 Systems battery has solved major problems to the satisfaction of manufacturers. Foremost is the recharge cycles that can be done before the batteries are worn down, and the batteries can be abused at transportation levels of damage and not pose significant dangers of fie or explosion. These two issues, the lifespan and the collision risks seem solved. The result is A123 is flooded with venture capital investments.

It’s all based on a substitution of the conventional lithium ion battery using cobalt oxide with nanoparticles of iron phosphate with some traces of other metals. The guys who have made this possible are Yet-Ming Chiang, Ric Fulop, and Bart Riley. An American melting pot sounding group if there ever was one. Fulop and Chiang met when Fulop just cruised into Chiang’s office at MIT looking for help starting a battery company. Within months, the pair had teamed with Riley and A123 was born.

Chiang had some experience and one big idea, materials that stirred together would spontaneously form a working electrolyte making manufacturing much less expensive. At the end of a year, Chiang hit on another discovery, the lithium iron phosphate mixture that is non-toxic, safe an inexpensive. After experiments in metal “doping” a kind of adding small bits to get certain characteristics enhanced or diminished, Chiang had gotten to discharge rates up to 10 times the rates seen in lithium ion based on the cobalt oxide formula. His fundamental discovery beyond the chemical mix was that the sizes of the particles, now down to less than 100 nanometers, causes a fundamental difference in the way atoms in the material rearrange themselves through the cycling of charges and discharges. This must have had an impact on the projected 15-year daily discharge and recharges that A123 thinks their automotive assembly should deliver.

At that time supplies of the lithium iron phosphate material was measured at less then a gram, which is when Black and Decker came looking for their dream battery. That was 2003. By 2006 the battery production was in the millions.

A123 Systems Automotive Battery Configuration

A123 Systems can deliver – which puts them in the lead for such things as the Chevy Volt. A123 has also done the engineering to get the battery shape suitable for use in vehicles, saving space and weight and allowing better cooling. The batteries are in automotive testing now. A123 plans to kick off production for automotive applications later this year.

A GE study indicated that if half of the U.S. road vehicles alone are electric powered, oil consumption would go down in the U.S. by 6 million barrels a day. Apply that world wide and think about what that might do to the price of oil.

Recheck those videos. Even if oil prices went down, who in their right mind would buy a gasoline powered car? Lust = a touch screen on the steering wheel to pick a speed – it or something like it is coming.


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