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Development in Progress for New Lightweight Battery for Electric Cars

Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:53am
VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., /PRNewswire/ -- Ricardo, Inc., the US subsidiary of Ricardo plc, has announced that the award of $2.1 million (GBP1.3m) of funding has been made by the UK Technology Strategy Board to a consortium led by advanced battery manufacturer Axeon and including Ricardo, which will develop a new lightweight battery for use in electric small city cars, improving their performance, functionality and range.

The aim of the project is to develop an innovative high energy density battery system for an emission-free electric small city car. The battery, which will use new cell chemistry that offers higher energy density, will be lighter, smaller and therefore more efficient than those currently available, and will offer faster charging and a higher range.

The benefits of the newer technology from improved performance, functionality and range will be significant. These factors in turn will enhance the appeal of low carbon electric vehicles (EVs), and if take-up is as predicted (250,000 new EVs by 2015 in Europe alone), it would contribute to a significant reduction in the UK's CO(2) emissions as well as positioning the UK as a leader in EV battery technology.

In addition to Axeon and Ricardo the consortium will also include as a member Allied Vehicles, a niche vehicle manufacturer.

Over the next 22 months, Ricardo will develop the battery management system architecture and application software; Axeon will engineer and construct the battery system, perform cell testing for calibration and electronic system integration; and Allied Vehicles will design, build and test the vehicle platform.

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