A123Systems, developer of a new generation of Lithium-ion batteries, today unveiled its technology and announced that it is delivering batteries with unprecedented power, safety, and life as compared to conventional Lithium technology. A123Systems’ first battery is now in production and being delivered to the Black & Decker Corporation. It will be first utilized by the corporation’s DeWALT brand, a leading manufacturer of power tools.
A123Systems’ battery technology delivers up to 10X longer life, 5X power gains and dramatically faster charge time over conventional high power battery technology, as validated by independent testing at Motorola and government research labs. A123Systems’ batteries use proprietary nanoscale electrode technology built on research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and exclusively licensed from MIT.
“A123's revolutionary technology will enable manufacturers to improve the performance and form factor of existing high-power portable devices and to transform products currently dependent on power cords and sockets into a new class of portable devices,” said David Vieau, CEO and president of A123Systems. “We expect that our technology will have the same impact on high-power products as the introduction of first generation Lithium-ion technology had on the development and commercialization of consumer electronics in the 1990s.”
A123Systems’ initial family of batteries is targeted at applications that require high power, high levels of safety, and longer life. These include power tools, advanced medical devices, hybrid electric vehicles, mobility products such as electric scooters, robotics, and consumer electronics.
DeWALT is using A123systems’ battery in a new, innovative, heavy-duty 36-volt power tool platform. The 36-volt power tools will provide users with increased levels of power and runtime, at a similar or less weight than their corded counterparts. Available in 2006, the new power tool line was designed from the ground up to ensure durability and reliability and to make optimum use of the increased power available from A123’s innovative battery technology. The line will include a hammerdrill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, impact wrench, rotary hammer, jigsaw, flashlight and combo kits.
A123Systems has seen considerable interest in its advanced battery technology across many applications. The company is working with the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a major undertaking to develop battery materials for future use in hybrid electric vehicles. As part of its work with the DOE, A123Systems has already completed two development phases of advanced battery technology. Preliminary performance results show a technology with great promise for the future of electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Power, Safety and Life – What Makes A123Systems’ Batteries Unique:
High Power. A123Systems’ first product packs up to five times the power density of current rechargeable, high power batteries. In addition, the battery has the ability to recharge to 90% of its capacity in five minutes.
Intrinsic Safety. Unlike conventional Lithium-ion batteries, A123Systems' batteries employ new thermally stable, non-combustible active materials, enabling a safer cell and allowing cost reductions such as the elimination of unnecessary battery pack components. In addition, A123Systems uses an environmentally friendly chemistry.
Long Life. With up to 10X improvement in life over existing rechargeable batteries, A123Systems’ batteries can deliver thousands of cycles at high rates. Cycles refer to the number of times a battery can be charged and discharged before it no longer has any power remaining.
In addition to its high power products, A123Systems is working on a family of high-energy products that significantly improves upon the performance of existing Lithium-ion batteries used in notebook computers and cellular phones. This line of products will be introduced in 2006.
With more than 300 person-years of battery industry experience, the staff at A123Systems is made up of technology industry veterans and pre-eminent scientists from some of the world's leading battery companies and research institutions. A123Systems is led by David Vieau, and was founded by Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, Dr. Bart Riley, VP of research and development, and Ric Fulop, VP of business development and marketing.
Having raised more than $32 million in funding, A123’s investors include Desh Deshpande (chairman of the A123 board), Qualcomm, Sequoia Capital, Motorola, North Bridge Venture Partners, MIT, YankeeTek and OnPoint Technologies, a strategic private equity firm funded by the United States Army.