Lithium Technology Corporation has shipped its first prototype 42V automotive battery to BMW under the auspices of the European Union-sponsored ‘Astor’ program (Assessments and testing of advanced storage systems for propulsion and other electrical systems in passenger cars).
The Astor consortium consists of seven European auto companies: VW, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Opel, Fiat, Volvo, and Peugeot.
The prototype lithium battery, co-developed with German lithium polymer battery company GAIA, is now undergoing testing in Europe. It delivers 7-8 kW of power at ambient temperatures, with a capacity of 27 Amp-hours, a pulse power capability of up to 6 kW for starting at an operating temperature of -25 degrees C, and an estimated life of 8 years.
It consists of unique flat cells housed in a standard European automotive battery casing, complete with a battery management system.
The battery life, weight and performance compare more than favourably with competitive lead acid and nickel metal hydride systems, according to the company.