Power Electronics

Electric Pickup Trucks Test Mettle of Li-ion Batteries

Valence Technology, developer of the Saphion large-format lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology, has received an order from UQM Technologies, a developer of alternative energy technologies, for its Valence Technology’s U-Charge Power Systems. UQM is evaluating 30 U-Charge systems for use in an advanced half-ton electric powered pickup truck that they are developing for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). U-Charge is a family of energy storage systems based on Valence’s Saphion Li-ion technology.

UQM develops and manufactures electric and hybrid electric propulsion systems for a variety of on-road and off-road vehicles. Until recently, the only option for the hybrid/electric vehicle industry was the NiMH rechargeable battery. Valence is the first company to commercialize a large-format phosphate-based Li-ion product. UQM selected the U-Charge Power System based on its cost effectiveness and ability to deliver on performance as well as safety—all specific requirements of the military. UQM is in the technology demonstration phase of the program to prove the electric vehicle concept.

"We selected Valence's U-Charge product, a high performing Li-ion battery, which we expect will significantly outperform the nickel metal hydride battery solutions used in electric vehicle applications in the past," said William G. Rankin, president and CEO, UQM Technologies Inc. "The ability of our combined technologies to overcome some of the limitations of previously developed electric vehicles could potentially lead to a resurgence of interest in zero emission vehicles of all types, from electric trucks to unmanned vehicles," continued Rankin.

Increasingly, the military is seeking lighter and quieter vehicles to lessen its impact on the environment and enable greater mobility for large troop deployments. Switching to electric applications will result in the reduction of fuel usage and the amount of waste in landfills.

For more information, visit www.uqm.com or www.valence.com.

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