"Solid Polymer" Lithium Ion

We recently caught up with John Honey, President of CCT Power, and learned more about what’s called “solid polymer” lithium ion batteries. Most lithium ion batteries still use gel technology, which is a cheaper, more proven technology, but which also is more dangerous, especially as applications be larger. Solid polymer technologies include nano-titanate, used by Altair Nano in their lithium ion batteries, and nanophosphate technolgy from A123 Systems.

Lithium Ion batteries are one of the key technologies in the race for cheap, clean, decentralized energy storage. Their energy density makes them extremely desirable in electric automotive applications – the proposed GM Volt, the Tesla line, and most advanced automotive designs prefer the lithium ion battery. For batteries, a good way to measure energy density is in terms of watt-hours per pound, and lithium ion batteries can now store up to 200 watt-hours per pound, nearly twice that of nickel metal hydride batteries which are still used in most hybrids.

What CCT Power does is what a lot of people have been looking for – they are North American representatives for ABAT Inc. (Advanced Battery Technologies) – and they actually are selling these batteries. CCT’s offices are in Temple City, in Southern California, but ABAT’s factory, employing over 1,200 people, is in Shuangcheng City, Harbin, China. ABAT holds several patents on solid polymer technology, and they have customers all over the world. Honey informed me ABAT has been selected to manufacture the battery packs for the 3,000 all-electric garbage trucks that are going to be put into service in Beijing by the time of the 2008 Olympics.

If you can supply trucks you can supply cars, and CCT Power “has agreements signed with ZAP,” and they are talking with other EV companies, according to Honey. I asked him if ABAT was in the running for GM’s Volt – there were about 30 lithium ion battery manufacturers that answered their RFP, before A123 was selected – and he said they just didn’t get there in time.

ABAT was founded in 2002, so it is a fairly recent arrival. They are OTC listed and their financial profile as reported on Yahoo shows a small but healthy emerging company, with $871K in cash and only $419K in total debt. Meanwhile their sales are 24M and their operating cash flow is 3.96M. Their price/sales ratio is 11.6x but their P/E is still only 28 – even though their stock price has tripled in the last six months and is up 6x in the past year. This company could be around a while.

Do you want to manufacture an electric vehicle, using dry polymer lithium ion technology that’s being proven onboard 3,000 busses in Beijing? Call John Honey at CCT, 626-350-9600. There ought to be more than a few more automotive and electrical engineers in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere to rise to this challenge. After all, the car is an electronic device. Technological spawn of the information age has intersected with the transportation sector, in yet another iteration of the long boom.

3 Responses to “"Solid Polymer" Lithium Ion”
  1. name says:

    Do you know if there is any news with ABAT using Altair electrode materials? ABAT’s last annual SEC filing mentioned they would be testing these.

  2. Ed Ring says:

    Yes – as I understand it they are doing some manufacturing for Altair Nanotechnologies, but I don’t have any details beyond that. It seemed pretty clear that Altair’s electrode materials are not the only dry polymer technology ABAT has access to.

  3. kent beuchert says:

    Their are vast difference between the various types of li ion batteries. Altair Nano batteries are very heavy and lack power, and are also quite expensive. EnerDel is another up and coming battery maker using technology similar to Altair but at much lower costs – they look very promising. I doubt that ZAP will ever produce a vehicle – that company has gone into and out of bankruptcy and makes a lot of dubious claims. I know of no reason why ABAT should feel shut out of the VOLT competition – they could supply a battery pack to GM for testing right
    now, I assume. The VOLT won’t appear for three more years, plenty of time to adopt a different battery technology. The VOLT project has not
    yet made their selection and won’t for anothher 8 months.


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