Lithium-ion battery cells made with nanostructured lithium titanate electrode materials from Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., Reno, Nev., exceed hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) power requirements of the FreedomCAR program, as well those of major U.S. automakers. Battery cells incorporating the technology show a usable state-of-charge range twice that of conventional nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries in HEVs. The cells are capable of 9,000 charge/discharge cycles and recharging takes just 3 min. Traditional lithium-ion batteries have a cycle life of 300 to 500 recharges and discharges. These results suggest a lithiumion battery pack could be half the size of those currently being tested for HEV applications.

Sanyo, Toyota, GM, and Ford all agree lithium-ion batteries are the technology of choice for HEVs. Battery-testing programs for HEVs and electric vehicles are underway. Prototype cells made with the technology are in the works.

FreedomCAR is an industry/government research initiative aimed at freeing the nation's personal transportation system from petroleum dependence and from harmful vehicle emissions, without sacrificing freedom of mobility and freedom of vehicle choice.

Altair Nanotechnologies Inc., altairnano.com