Think Small is a New Rallying Cry From Some EV Battery Makers

A Smith truck with Valence batteries

Article from CBS’ MoneyWatch by Jim Motavalli, Sept 23, 2010:

Although it’s generally assumed that battery packs will compete in a kind of horsepower race, a totally different scenario is beginning to unfold: Battery makers are starting to look at smaller sizes as a way to make EVs more affordable.

Things like this are becoming clearer as EVs actually roll out and customers start to talk about their preferences. And one company those early adopters are talking to is Valence Technology, which makes lithium-ion magnesium phosphate batteries. It’s one of the very first companies to get its packs into vehicles.

A Smith truck with Valence batteries
A Smith truck with Valence batteries

Valence got a $13 million order from Smith Electric Vehicles in August, and the first of those commercial delivery trucks are hitting the road now. Smith signed a deal to deliver 176 electric trucks to Frito-Lay, creating one of the largest battery fleets in the world. Up next is a 20-vehicle order from Even in Iceland, which is trying to have the world’s first all-EV transportation fleet.

The Frito trucks have big 80-kilowatt-hour packs and can travel 100 miles on a charge, but President and CEO Robert Kanode told me that some companies, including FedEx, are interested in much smaller packs. And so Valence plans on offering three separate sizes. The smallest for Smith trucks is 42 kilowatt-hours.

Read the full article here: