Navitas Systems, a provider of energy storage products and power electronics, has won a $7.2 million contract to develop next-generation lithium-ion batteries for military vehicles.
As new power-hungry electronics proliferate, the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) has been working with Navitas to develop prototype 24 V lithium-ion batteries in the 6T form factor to replace the current lead-acid technology.
Under this new award, Navitas will develop beta versions of second-gen lithium-ion 6T batteries. The goal of the program is to deliver an improved 120 Ah battery product with higher cold cranking capability than today’s lead-acid batteries, and a weight savings of 70%. The battery is expected to deliver up to 100% improvement in energy capacity over both lead-acid and first-generation lithium-ion, so one lithium-ion 6T battery will be able to replace two lead-acid 6Ts.
Navitas will focus on optimizing cell chemistry and mechanical design to improve service life, energy density and low temperature power capability. Cell design will be tuned to maximize the use of currently available technologies, and cycle life will be improved through materials optimization.
In-vehicle integration and testing will be conducted by Wisconsin firm Oshkosh.