Maxwell Technologies has received approval from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) to begin development of a compact, low-cost, high-performance, 48-V ultracapacitor-based electrical energy storage module for applications in passenger vehicles.
USABC operates under the auspices of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), an umbrella organization formed by DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors to strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research. Maxwell is eligible for more than $3 million in matching funds for the module development program from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through the FreedomCAR initiative that DOE and USCAR established in 2002 to promote new technologies to reduce passenger vehicles’ dependence on petroleum.
Dr. Richard Balanson, Maxwell’s president and CEO, said that the company views this auto industry-sponsored module development program as an opportunity to further accelerate acceptance of ultracapacitors as a standard building block for energy storage and power delivery solutions for the transportation industry.
“Maxwell has supplied several thousand BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor cells for integration into gasoline-electric hybrid drive trains for public transit buses over the past year, and we expect that application to continue growing in 2005,” Balanson said. “We won those orders by delivering robust energy storage components that provide safe, maintenance-free, performance for the life of the vehicle. This opportunity with USABC to develop an auto-specific module will enable us to strengthen our credentials as a supplier of mainstream energy storage systems.”
Under the terms of the 24-month USABC development contract, Maxwell will deliver fully integrated multi-cell modules for testing by DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories and Idaho National Laboratory against rigorous auto industry standards for energy capacity, pulse power, abuse-tolerance, calendar life and cycle life.
Management conducted a conference call and simultaneous Web cast on March 10, 2005, to discuss the program. Speakers included Dr. Balanson, Richard Smith, Maxwell’s executive vice president for strategic business development, and Dr. John Miller, former head of Ford Motor Company’s electric drive train engineering group and a prominent auto industry consultant.
Replays of the Web cast can be accessed at www.maxwell.com/investors/presentations.html.