The Chevrolet Spark EV will be ushering in a new battery technology, which involves the use of lithium phosphate, from 2013 onwards. Current technology utilizes lithium-ion batteries that have provided many automotive breakdowns, and this has motivated the researchers to find a new way out.
The recent NHTSA investigation concerning the issue of lithium-ion batteries after crash-testing Chevrolet’s Volt extended-range hybrid, has prompted GM to seek a more advanced battery technology for the electric version of its Spark city car due in 2013.
When carmakers like Tesla, Nissan and GM were developing their EVs and hybrids, lithium-ion batteries were the best tech available.
Now they will employ lithium phosphate technology in their next-gen models because, as principal of Detroit consulting firm 2953 Analytics, James Hall, noted, they are safer and longer lasting.
For the development of new, lithium phosphate battery packs, GM has already signed a contract with A123 Systems.
A123 Systems’ vice president Andy Chu revealed that the company was one of the bidders to supply the Volt batteries, but lost out to LG Chem because, at the time, it didn’t have a proven manufacturing record.
The results A123 have provided over the past few months have spoken themselves and before anyone knew it, GM made a deal with the company.
Apart from GM, BMW is also buying lithium phosphate batteries from A123 for their ActiveHybrid 5 and upcoming ActiveHybrid 3.