A123 Systems CEO David Vieau told Bloomberg production of the new ‘nanophosphate EXT’ cells, which operate more efficiently and offer a more stable full-charge range in extreme hot and cold weather conditions, would begin in 2013.
Vieau said the new cells would do away with the need for hybrids, plug-ins and EVs to be equipped with systems to maintain consistent battery temperatures, subsequently reducing vehicle weight, complexity and cost.
Shares of the Massachusetts-based company rose 52 per cent yesterday – the largest increase since its 2009 initial public offering – on the back of the announcement.
A123 is best known for producing the lithium-ion batteries that power the Fisker Karma, and earlier this year was forced to recall the cells supplied to Fisker due to a manufacturing defect that could cause the batteries to short circuit.
BMW’s ActiveHybrid 3, ActiveHybrid 5 and ActiveHybrid 7 sedans are all equipped with A123 lithium-ion cells, and Chevrolet will also employ the company’s batteries in its Spark EV, which will enter small-scale production in early 2013.