Saft Space and Defense Division’s (SDD) lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4) technology is suited for applications requiring good thermal stability, which can limit the damage resulting from severe abuse. These products use LiFePO4 technology licensed from the University of Texas and are available without intellectual property issues. While potentially beneficial for military use, this is an evolving technology that does not yet solve the problem of calendar life, which is critical for automotive applications, where life-cycle cost is important.
The performance of the Saft LiFePO4 product will be nominally 20% to 30% inferior to batteries based on the LiNiCoAlO2 cathode. These LiFePO4 products will be available in several Space and Defense Division standard formats. Saft SDD is also developing standard modules and electronics to make the technology applicable. One of the challenges will be in providing the state of charge status in this technology, as well as maintaining good balancing of cells.